Amid all the issues upcoming right now in the campus, like the mess system or campus cleanliness. We often undermine one of the most critical issue regarding security of the campus. IIT, Kharagpur consists of assets worth billions of rupees. And most importantly, it houses a troop of very talented individuals from across the country. So it is expected that the security of such a place would be rather perfect. And that is what the administration and security personnel are trying to ensure. But the question arises- Are we really secure? And if we are, then how much? Here is an analysis on what the present scenario of security is, in our campus and what are it’s loopholes.
Security-the Present Conundrum
As per the data provided by the assistant security officer, there are presently 90 government security officers and around 350 SIS security guards working in shifts in the campus. Since they work on 8 hours shifts, only one third of them are available at a time. Main building security office acts as head office from where all the security system is channelized. To make your understanding of the campus security easier we have simplified it into four parts.
- GATES :- There are 5 gates with Puri Gate and Prem Bazar Gate being the most busy ones. Every gate has a security counter with 5-6 guards which ideally should take record of all vehicles and people entering the campus.
- Halls of Residence :-Except LBS and BRH, There is only one guard in each hall, who is solely responsible to observe the activities and to stop any trespassers for entering there. After the completion of their shift, they report to the main building security counter and give update to the higher authorities.
- Academic Units :- All the gates of academic units have security persons that prevent any unauthorised entry of vehicles and people. Every department does not necessarily have a security guard but time and again they drop in there.
- Gymkhana and Road Security :- Gymkhana has a special security counter. The security officials prevent all kind of non-statutory activities in the surroundings. These guards are also used for traffic-control.
What is the Problem?
Owing to the dissatisfaction among the students and the bulk of outsiders that loiter around in the campus, it can be easily rectified that the present security system has failed to entrust any sense of security among the kgpians.
The reasons for this failure are many.
- First and foremost, it seems utterly ridiculous that only 150 guards are protecting an institute with more than 20000 people and with an enormous area of 2100 acres at a time.
- There are 6 CCTVs installed on the campus, which is far less than the required number and also their quality is very poor with no zooming facility.
- Even if we have security counters at gates, how many are eventually interrogated before entering the campus?
- Even though we have fire controlling units, why does frequent fire occur and then become uncontrollable?
- Even with guards present in each hall, cycle theft is as common as anything today. Not only cycles but laptops, mobiles and wallets are commonly lost but no one knows where.
- The traffic police are there but why major accidents happen and the irony is that the administration tries to hide it (referred to the recent Tikka Accident).
"What if there is a Peshawar kind of incident in Kharagpur? The Security Guards with no ammunition would not be able to stand even for minutes. They will have only two choices, either to run away or face the bullet. In either case, the massacre won’t be stopped?" said by an official.
Administration and Security System
The hierarchy for the security system goes like this in the campus.
We found the hierarchy to be confusing on a working level. The policemen have no idea
about who actually has the power to take what decisions. This, combined with the complete ignorance of the administrative authority, adds to the misery of the situation.
Their collaboration is very poor, and co-operation from the administration is minimal.
The administration needs to force its employees to follow the security guidelines, to register their vehicles, to carry their ID cards, to co-operate in the present sticker system of vehicles.
The administration needs to ensure that police verification is done before employing anyone, which by the way has not been done for many employees.
Police and their Fair Excuses
To be fair it won’t be justified to attribute all these mishappenings to the security people. There are instances to support that not enough power and means are given to them to manage such a big institute. Apart from the strength issue, the practical scenario is such that a professor feels insulted when asked for checking of his vehicle. Why don’t they get their vehicles registered? Why whenever a cycle thief is caught, the policeman receives a call from professors asking him to leave them? Why, if a student is found guilty, he cannot be even slapped? Why all human right issue arises when a culprit is beaten ( as quoted by a respectable professor )?
With construction work going on throughout the campus, at least, 5000 workers are employed and they enter through various gates. They cannot be checked daily. Also, it is very difficult to ensure the students security, who carelessly leave the campus without taking the OUT-PASS from their halls. The Security gets informed only after Digha police catches them drunk and half naked and call them.
The Call of the Hour
It seems that the administration is waiting for something to happen. But we can’t risk our lives in the hands of the fate. So we appeal to the administration to take strict measures to restore a sense of security and safety among us. But we as students should also be careful and sensible in what we do.
There is no point in hanging out at Shergill late at night, especially for girls, where there are no sanitation facilities. And that too without informing your Halls or Security.
The drug dealers would not be active if there won’t be any drug purchase in the campus.
And it is also not expected from us to steal things of our companions, which, believe us is the case more often than not (evident from the case records at security centre).
When you are on your way from LS to your Hall fully drunk up to the brim, you leave yourself on the conscience of the local people. You are safe only until they don’t harm you.
Our use of bikes also seems like a juvenile activity. We should respect the fact that it is not allowed and that’s because it can be fatal for us.
So we appeal you to be reasonable in your approach. No one will help you until you help yourself.
Common Observation and Suggestion
- The increase of Man Force- This increase will ensure that at least 2 guards are there in each Hall. One at the front and the other at the back. Every critical point has a guard regulating it.
More CCTVs being installed- CCTVs gives video evidence of whatever happens on the campus. These are the strongest form of evidence.
- A vehicle seminar should be conducted in which all the vehicles in the campus should be registered and thereafter the unregistered vehicles should be barred from being used.
- Every employee including permanent as well as contractual ones should be given an ID card/ Gate Pass. Even the frequent visitors should be identified and marked.
- Internal surveys should be done to identify general problems so as to make long-term plans for the betterment of the security infrastructure. A survey in various departments for fire control is being done right now which is commendable.
We know that we are safe and sound unless any misfortune strikes and we hope and wish to have the same luxury for our coming generation too. The fearless way we live with all freedom and security may sustain for a long long time. It’s a general saying ‘ Precaution is better than cure’ and in that direction this is only a small effort to enlighten everyone about the security system of IIT Kharagpur presently. Even if it can bring out slightest of changes then we will consider our effort worthy.
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