Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday highlighted the importance of intelligence gathering and the use of modern technology for strengthening the rail security. "Challenges of secured travel are increasing day by day not only in India but even globally.
So security has assumed greater significance," the minister said at a roundtable conference on rail security. A steep rise in accidents caused by suspected sabotage such as tampering of tracks has become a matter of concern for the railways. With its wide and open network, the sector is especially vulnerable to sabotage. At the conference, the ministry sought ideas from other stakeholders to arrive at solutions for improving rail security. "We need to take preventive measures to avoid occurrences of crime and for this intelligence gatherings have to be improved. Technology will play a very big role in this," Prabhu said. Citing the example of Konkan Railway, he said, it had a centralised monitoring system which should be replicated elsewhere. The minister said a forensic laboratory was also being set up for the Railway Protection Force (RPF). "The RPF continues to coordinate with state police as law and order is a state subject," he said. Prabhu said he had written to chief ministers asking for help in the seamless policing of the rail network.