The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway arrested nearly 1,361 travellers between January to November 2021 for pulling alarm chains in the trains without sufficient valid reasons, causing inconvenience to the passengers.
The arrested persons were prosecuted under section 141 of the Railway Act.
"The misuse of ACP for the convenience of one or few passengers ends up causing inconvenience to all other passengers," said an officer of WR adding that in 2020 prosecution rate ( in Alarm Chain Pulling cases ) was 38 percent, which is now increased up to 42 percent.
Misuse of alarm chains on the passenger trains also affects punctuality and causes operational loss to Railways. To prevent any unexpected situation, every coach of the trains has equipped with an alarm chain system.
The alarm chains in the train are meant for the ease of passengers and to be used only during acute emergencies involving safety/security during train journeys.
In 2020, a total of 1,802 cases of chain pulling were registered in the entire western railway, including the Mumbai suburban section out of this 692 offenders were arrested.
This year, till 30th November, WR has registered 3,234 cases of chain pulling, out of these 1,361 accused of chain pulling, were arrested by WR.
As per the Indian Railways Act, pulling the emergency chain without a valid reason is an offence and attracts a jail term of three months or a fine up to Rs 1,000.
"Once the chain is pulled, the train has to be detained, and the delay affects other trains on the stretch. In a way, offenders are harassing other passengers," added WR officials
Railways have provided an Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP) option in Suburban and Mail /Express trains for use during emergency purposes only.
Of late, it is seen that passengers are resorting to ACP for frivolous reasons like arriving late, alighting/boarding at intermediate stations etc. Most of the incidents took place on long-distance trains, but local trains were disproportionally affected owing to their higher frequency.