Taking a serious note of the problems and inconvenience faced by women commuters traveling in the same compartment as men in the 11.04-km long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro corridor, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) on Wednesday announced that it would reserve the major portion of one coach on each four-coach train for women.
The new arrangement will be effective from August 15, wherein women commuters will have extra comfort. The space will be reserved in the Versova-end coach in all Up and Down trains.
According to a spokesperson of MMOPL, "Starting this Friday, when Mumbai will celebrate Independence Day with rest of the country, MMOPL offers reserve space for women."
As per the new arrangement, one coach of each train will be divided with the help of strip separators to create a special space for women commuters. The total number of seats within the reserved area will be 32 as against 24 seats provided at present. Children up to 12 years, accompanied by women passengers, will also be allowed to travel in the reserved space. With this, the reservation of seats for women in other coaches would be removed. However, in the other coaches, the existing reservation of seats for the old and physically challenged (four seats) will continue.
Male commuters will not be allowed to enter the reserved space for women under any circumstances. If any male commuter tries to enter the reserved space for women while their train is on the move, they will be dealt with strictly. CCTV cameras are installed inside the trains for monitoring
The MMOPL will be placing stickers and signage on the platforms and train doors to mark the entry to the portion of the coach reserved for women and also would depute women staff for helping women commuters board the coach.
Announcements also will be made on this issue over the public address systems of the Metro system at stations as well as in trains.