How serious are we about Security?

How serious are we about security while traveling?

Everyone has been through a security check at airports, often having to go thru multiple levels of checking, scanning, and frisking. But what about others?

X-ray Luggage screening device at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok
X-ray Luggage screening device at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok. Image copyright Mattes in the Public Domain, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

It is rare to see functional Security systems in Railway stations across the country. Mumbai’s Suburban Rail witnessed a series of horrific bombings a decade ago while BEST buses have been the target of bomb blasts twice: 2002 and 2003, both outside Ghatkopar Station.

So what do we do?

Stringent security checks aren’t always feasible. You can do it for an airline because of the lesser crowd. But can you imagine doing that for every passenger at Mumbai Central or New Delhi station? It’s humanely impossible, mainly because of the volume of people.

Metro systems do have a decent security check in place. Delhi Metro uses the Central Industrial Security Force that the Airports across the country use. The Airport Express also has CISF guards, but they are stricter, and the security checks are more in line with the airport security checks. Mumbai’s security is handled by the Maharashtra State Security Corporation do a good job too. Bangalore, Chennai and Gurgaon employ Private Security agencies who, depending on the situation, may or may not be great.

But this will be a herculean task across bus stops right? Maybe, but there can be a workaround for this.

A simple workaround would be installing CCTV cameras in public spaces, starting with Bus Stations, Railway Stations, Malls, Shopping Areas, etc. where the public throngs in huge numbers. This can then be gradually rolled out to other sections of the city.

An addition to this would be using an Infrared camera along with the CCTV camera. An infrared camera is able to capture images in low light which a normal camera would not be able to see. Along with this, a thermal image scanner can also be employed. A thermal scanner will show the monitoring guards, different heat levels of anything within range. Combined with the CCTV and Infrared, it might help pinpoint explosive devices or weapons. Of course, installing lakhs of them across each bus stop would be a pain. The plus side is that this set-up can then be used for tracking buses, as well as curbing violations of traffic rules.

What do you say?

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Author: Srikanth

BEST? Bus! Vroom, *pulls bellpull* Hi, I'm Srikanth. I'm a freelance media fellow with a fascination for buses, toll plazas, fire trucks and drones.

27 thoughts on “How serious are we about Security?”

  1. Seriously! It is so sad that there isn’t much security systems in our country. Your points are relevant in installing CCTVs in public spaces.

    1. The loss of lives due to lapses in security anywhere is high. It’s sad that those in power don’t do much to solve the problem.

  2. I do agree with you there. Security at bus stations and other public spaces is very important. But the investment and manpower required to install and man these – that’s a question I wonder about.

    1. Exactly. Installing x number of cameras is easy. Maintaining them is tougher, but getting the manpower to comb thru and scrub the footage is a herculean task. Training our security forces to be more tech savvy is the first step.

  3. The biggest problem for our country is that even if they have the top notch security in place, they are not able to sustain / maintain it. Instead of putting up new CCTVs camera, they should first fix the ones that aren’t working. But a nice post, we should pay attention to the security.

  4. Its a two way traffic! What is the use of installing CCTV cameras when there is noone in the monitor room to monitor any activity? Yes, CCTV cameras are good to keep things in check but their maintenance and monitoring are equally important too.

    A good post to raise public awareness 🙂

  5. Well written. Public Transport is often a safe target for hooligans, vandals and terrorists. Security needs to be stepped up.

  6. A very good topic to raise, even if there are lack of personnel in security rooms but still the recording can be helpful too.
    A large institutions mainly rely on these cctv cameras..

  7. Fascinating observation there. Never gave it a thought. That would indeed be a herculean task and really inefficient on many levels. Here we don’t have the necessary facilities for waste management, city cleaning, and basic security workforce falls short. And to invest in this new level of security infra would be a challenge and of course a waste if it wouldn’t be maintained. I think skilled manpower would be more effective, as that would ensure in the proper implementation and long term maintenance of whatever security and other measures we implement. This skilled workforce we could use across all our social levels, from waste management to city maintenance and other areas too. I am just chaining thoughts here, but yes I guess we need to invest more in training and creating capable manpower which would naturally result in solutions which are much more effective.

  8. I have come across stations with security systems just thrown about & I have thought along the same lines. Some of the measures you suggested are brilliant. There should be a way we could suggest this to the respective govt official.

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