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Passenger security top priority: Lalu

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July 13, 2006 18:28 IST

Closed-circuit TVs and metal detectors will be installed at all important stations across the country, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said on Thursday asserting passenger security would be given "topmost priority" in the aftermath of the serial blasts in Mumbai.

Conceding that the railways have become a "soft target" for terrorists, Lalu said sniffer dogs, metal detectors and equipment to detect bombs in trains and at stations are among the security measures to be initiated by the Railway Ministry.

Closed-circuit TVs could be installed at all important stations and a control room would be set up to coordinate security, he said in a chat with reporters at the Rail Bhavan.

"We are looking into every possible option to beef up security for rail properties and funds would not be a constraint," Lalu said.

The General Railway Police and Railway Protection Force, the two railway security forces, will be strengthened, he said.

Coordination between the two forces would be stepped up, he said adding, instructions are being given to the railway officials to this effect.

Among the other security measures at railway stations would be widening of entry points for controlling efficient monitoring of passenger movement.

"Terrorists picked up suburban trains in Mumbai as an easy target to inflict maximum casualties," Lalu said.

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