Former Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose has been appointed security consultant of the Kochi Metro, even as a battalion of the State Industrial Security Force (SISF) is expected to be deployed to ensure the security of metro assets. A metro police station, comprising 30 Kerala Police personnel, too is in the offing. It will have jurisdiction over all metro assets. The developments come in the context of the expected commissioning of the 13-km Aluva-Palarivattom corridor in April.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Managing Director Elias George said several rounds of talks had been held with State Police Chief Loknath Behera and other senior officers, and it had been agreed to allot an SISF battalion to man the 24 stations in the Aluva-Pettah corridor. “Mr. Jacob Punnoose was chosen as security consultant considering that he was the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the National Games Secretariat when Kerala hosted the sports meet in 2015. He will visit Kochi every month to oversee the security apparatus,” he added. The State government will bear the metro’s security expenses, as it is a sovereign function. Incidentally, the Centre bears the security expenses of the Delhi Metro. “All security arrangements at the coach maintenance depot at Muttom and metro stations will be finalised in a fortnight,” Mr. George said.
A total of 120 armed SISF personnel and 400 private security guards are expected to be deployed in multiple shifts at the 11 metro stations between Aluva and Palarivattom. The private guards will man the gates, parking lots, and other points, providing the first layer of security. The SISF personnel will selectively frisk people. They will also be present near door-frame metal detectors and baggage scanners, said a senior police officer associated with the metro’s security. The private security agency will be finalised soon. Officials of the State and Central intelligence wings too will monitor the security cover of all metro assets. Movement of people will be tracked from control rooms at each station using CCTV footage.