Central Railway (CR) has some good news for the four lakh-odd women travelling on the suburban section on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The authorities announced a couple of vital amenities for women commuters yesterday, even though it is not known whether they will be incorporated in the currently plying trains or added to the new trains.
Plans are on to increase the number of coaches meant for women commuters in the days to come, and place all the compartments at either end of a local train. “We will be allotting one-third space in a local train for women,” Subodh Jain, general manager, CR said. “However, the number of ladies-special trains will stay the same.
According to officials, at present, there are three coaches allotted for women in a local train. However, with the new announcement, the number would increase to 1/3rd of the number of coaches in any given train. For instance, a 12-car train will have four coaches and a 15-car train will have five coaches reserved for ladies. Currently, there are 117 trains operated by CR on both Main line and Harbour lines.
Of these, 35 trains run on Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel Harbour line, all are nine-car; 10 trains operate on trans-harbour section of Thane-Vashi and rest of them on the Main line, which are 12-car and 15-car trains.
Apart from this, as a measure to improve security, sources claim that CR authorities are looking at clustering women compartments at either end of a particular train. “We are looking at having all coaches meant for women to be at the end, either near the motormen or the guard cabin, depending on the direction of the train,” said another official.
Currently, in a bid to augment security drives for women, the railways are making announcements at railway stations urging women commuters to board the compartment next to the guard’s cabin if travelling after 9 pm. This makes it easier to tackle an untoward situation.
The CR also claims to have expedited the process of installing Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras inside ladies compartment to enhance security. This is a long-drawn demand from commuters to have CCTVs inside local trains. However, many times, the ones at the station premises have been found to be in a dismal condition with the output on TV screens remaining blank.
117: Total number of local trains currently plying on the Central Railway
35: Number of trains plying between CST-Panvel stations on the Harbour Line
10: Number of trains running between Thane-Vashi stations
4: Number of coaches to be allotted to women in a 12-car train