Ensure cop cover for all bus stops in Thane: TMT to police department

In a letter to the police chief on May 4, Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) authorities asked cops to prosecute all those harassing women near bus stops

Citing the issue of safety of women passengers using the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) buses, transport authorities last week wrote to the Thane police department to ensure safety of women passengers at local bus stops.

With several secluded bus stops in Thane becoming junkie hotspots, women passengers often find themselves at the risk of getting mugged or being sexually harassed. File pic for representation
With several secluded bus stops in Thane becoming junkie hotspots, women passengers often find themselves at the risk of getting mugged or being sexually harassed. File pic for representation

In a letter to the Thane police commissioner on May 4, TMT manager Sudhir Raut requested the presence of police personnel at bus stops in Thane, which have become hubs for junkies and anti-social elements.

Giving an example, Raut mentioned that one of the bus stops in Dongripada area has been encroached upon by junkies and alcoholics. Raut said TMT committee member Anil Bhor brought the issue to the fore.

“Women’s safety is our priority. We have written to the police commissioner to increase police presence and take strict action against anyone found lurking near the bus stop in a suspicious manner,” said a transport officer.

Internal measures
Besides writing to the top cop, the transport authorities issued a circular asking ticket checkers, conductors, drivers and traffic controllers to inform the police the moment they spot someone loitering near a bus stop, or ask even ask a person to step off the bus if he harasses someone inside.

“We have also asked them to ensure that private buses and auto rickshaws don’t ferry passengers from bus stops, as it is a common practice during peak hours and late night. They can take the help of traffic controllers to do the needful,” a TMT officer said.

Cop speak
Parag Manare, DCP (Crime Branch), confirmed to mid-day about the department receiving a letter from the TMT authorities.

“We have taken serious note of the issue and intimated all the police stations to increase patrolling across all bus stops in their areas. Officers have been asked to take strict action against those found lurking suspiciously near the bus stops. Women’s safety is our priority and we support the transport authorities. In most cases, women don’t register a complaint. I would like to request women passengers to come forward and lodge complaints so that we are able to initiate action against culprits. The complainant’s identity will be kept confidential.”

Dangerous stops
>> Dongripada on Ghodbunder Road is unsafe because all residential buildings are far away from the bus stop

>> Yeoor bus stop is unsafe during night hours due to the presence of anti-social elements in the vicinity 

>> After sunset, Kopri bus stop in Thane west becomes a hangout spot for junkies and miscreants, who keep staring at women 

>> Bus stops along Mumbra station are infested with creepy auto drivers who pass lewd comments at women 

>> Bus stop on Kolshet Road is unsafe, as its location is secluded and is surrounded by mills 

>> Owing to the numerous chain-snatching incidents, bus stops on the Kharegoan stretch of Kalwa are unsafe

>> Bus stops at Reti-Bunder Road and Saket Road become deserted after evening peak hours

Commuter speaks

Shreya Tawde, a collegian who travels by bus from her residence to Thane station
The bus stop near Thane railway station is safe, as people follow line discipline while boarding buses. However, the situation isn’t the same everywhere. At various bus stops, men push women to occupy seats. There should be separate queues for women at every bus stop, so that we feel safe.

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