S Vishnu Sharma, INN/Chennai, @svs037
What does Railway Protection Force (RPF) wing of Southern Railway do? Provide significant support to those travelling by trains round the clock. Safety and security have always been of prime importance for RPF. What does the force do to ensure safety of passengers remains intact? Escorts trains.
About 529 RPF personnel are escorting 316 mail, express, passenger, suburban train. Added to this, about 130 EMU trains that run in the night are also being escorted by RPF. Women RPF team (Sakthi padai) give escort to four ladies special trains running in Chennai division.
On several occasions, RPF personnel have revealed their humane face by saving the precious lives of passengers during exigencies.
RPF train escorts have been instrumental in prevention and detection of crimes, seizure of contraband goods, rescuing of destitutes and missing children and securing valuables and luggage left over by passengers.
During 2018 (upto November), about 259 touts were apprehended under Railways Act by the special teams of RPF.
E-tickets and PRS counter tickets worth Rs.57.65 lakh were recovered. Out of 259 touts 60 touts were convicted by the respective judicial magistrate courts and a fine of Rs.3.9 lakh was realised. The remaining cases are under investigation.
RPF wing of Chennai division recovered railway reserved tickets worth Rs.36.44 with the arrest of 104 touts. Tiruchchirappalli division seized reserved tickets worth Rs.1.27 lakh with the arrest of 21 touts while in Madurai division RPF special squad recovered tickets worth Rs.4.67 lakh and arrested 31 touts.
About 22 touts were apprehended in Salem division and reserved tickets worth Rs.3.23 lakh were recovered. Similar drives were carried out in Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram divisions and reserved tickets worth 4.95 lakh (50 touts were held) and Rs. 7.12 lakh ( 31 touts were held) respectively. RPF also operates all India security helpline 182, this is functioning in Southern Railway since December, 2014. The objective behind this is to deal with rail security related complaints promptly.
During this year upto October, 18360 messages for help were received from the passengers and the same were redressed on real time basis.