An alert for Kollam rail station

Posing a serious security threat, all closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at the Kollam railway station have been lying defunct for several months now.

At present, there is no provision to monitor the premises other than routine patrolling, causing difficulty to the police and passengers alike.

“Kollam station has the world’s second longest railway platform and in its entire stretch not even a single camera is working. We had submitted a proposal requesting for a minimum of 125 cameras since the area is vast. They had installed around 80 cameras, but they all stopped functioning more than a year back,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

A passenger had collapsed and died at the station last month while the body of a Tamil Nadu resident was found on the tracks a few days later.

“The family had asked for the visuals which we couldn’t provide. In the second case, we found the body after the train moved and so far we have no idea how it happened. The main platform of the Kollam railway station is more than one-km-long and the situation is causing difficulty to the police as they are not able to keep track of what is happening. Though we get information about missing persons or criminals on the run, we are unable trace them with the help of visuals.”

The lack of CCTV surveillance has also made it impossible for law enforcers to collect evidence when it comes to offences and suicide cases.

Ladies waiting room

“Even the ladies waiting room has no camera and leaving the premises unmonitored can lead to serious issues. We had approached the authorities several times and though they promised to set up necessary security measures under the Nirbhaya scheme, no action has been taken so far.”

With the commuter footfall on the rise and the authorities planning to restore all services by January 2021, the situation is of concern. The station situated between two National Highways also has a number of unguarded entry points.

“During the past several months, repeated incidents of fuel theft have been reported from the parking area. Compared to other stations, Kollam has several entry points and at present we have no facility to prevent illegal access,” he said.

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