In the biggest-ever addition of personnel nationwide to the 58,000-strong Railway Protection Force (RPF), a total of 16,500 new recruits will be ready for deployment for security duties across the length and breadth of Indian Railways by June this year. This addition will bolster the strength of the force by almost 28 percent, and give the force more options to guard suburban as well as long-distance trains.
A sizeable number of these recruits will be deployed in the RPF units of both Western and Central Railways in Mumbai. The RPF in Mumbai is staring at crippling vacancies despite the count of suburban passengers exceeding 75 lakh per day. The RPF unit of CR’s Mumbai division has a sanctioned strength of 2,546 personnel, but it has only 1,628 personnel on its rolls- a vacancy of 918 personnel. In fact the vacancy in the constabulary front- the first line of security- is a whopping 689. There are just 661 constables on the rolls against a sanctioned strength of 1350.
The RPF unit of WR’s Mumbai division is just as poorly off. The unit has a sanctioned strength of 2,016 but has only 1,215 personnel on its rolls, a shortfall of 801 personnel. Of the 16,500 new recruits, 550 will be sanctioned for WR’s Mumbai division.