After the Kolkata Metro, the Eastern and South-Eastern Railways may take help of the state police for crowd management on the resumption of suburban train services.
The zonal railways are likely to seek deployment of local police from the state government for handling of passengers at and outside station premises.
According to a railway official, unlike the city metro, controlling the movement of passengers is a difficult task as the station boundaries, particularly in several suburban areas, are porous. Social distancing will be a bigger issue in local trains as compared to the metros where access by commuters can be controlled.
The Eastern and South Eastern Railway authorities, before finalising their own modalities to operate local and other regular passenger trains, were waiting for the efficacy of the metro-introduced system on the resumption of commercial services. Now when Kolkata Metro emerged successful with the operation during Covid times, the zonal railways are considering taking help from the state police to handle the crowd of passengers.
Even though the digital passes proved to be a successful mechanism in commuter handling, the Government Railway Police (GRPs) along with the city police are playing a crucial role in the metro’s success story.
“In Kolkata Metro, the GRP and city police are controlling the crowd at stations,” claimed a railway official.
“For railways also, we will demand deployment of the state police for crowd control. While the GRP would manage the crowd inside the station, the state police would handle the visitors outside and at entry points,” he added.
The final decision on who will control the crowd at which level though will be taken in the meeting which is expected to take place between the officials of the two zonal railways and the state government. Having requested a meeting, the zonal railway authorities are awaiting a call from the state government