No entry for teen boys in CR ladies compartments

Following complaints from women commuters about unruly boys in trains, CR may restrict entry of those above 12 years into ladies compartment

Taking note of the escalating crimes against women in local trains, the Central Railway (CR) is considering disallowing boys above the age of 12 into the ladies compartments.
"We are looking at restricting entry of boys above 12 years into the ladies compartment, unless they are accompanied by a female relative," said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.

Stop' em: Several instances of boys in school uniforms entering the
ladies compartment and running riot have been reported
in the past.
Representation Pic

Several instances of boys in school uniform entering the ladies compartment, especially the first class, and running pell-mell have been reported in the past.

"These boys don't seem to be 10-12 year-olds even though they are in school uniforms," said Shaileja Chatterjee, a commuter from Thane. "Quite often, these boys travel in groups. Apart from these school-going boys, there are some young miscreants who often trouble women in the ladies compartments."

Recently, the Bombay High Court rapped the railway authorities for lack of security measures in train and demanded to know why women constables were not being deployed in ladies compartments during non-peak hours.

Another constant source of grouse for most women commuters is the conversion of the middle ladies compartment into a general one after 11 pm. They said men entered the compartments before the stipulated time.

Railway officials admitted there was a loophole in the system. "We have to fix an age limit, beyond which a boy should not be allowed to enter the ladies compartment even if there is a female relative with him," said another CR official. "A couple of days ago, a woman fought with the guard of a local train, after he prevented her from taking her 14-year-old son into the ladies compartment.

CR authorities also said they lacked enough manpower to prevent the yobs from performing stunts in trains and hanging on the footboards.

Recently, videos of youngsters hanging on the footboards were posted on the Internet, following which, about 1,500 foolhardy young men were caught within a month by the CST railway police.

The CR authorities also accepted that frequent breakdown of trains pointed to a grave problem.

"In the past few months, there have been cases of overhead wires snapping, signal failures and derailment of local trains on the central and harbour line. The failures have been serious in nature, but we are looking into it," said Jain.

The general manager of CR promised that commuters could expect clean trains and stations in the next one month. Also, the railways would approach private companies to keep the toilets clean, said Jain.

Besides ensuring cleanliness, Jain said the CR was planning to increase the height of platforms at several stations such as Byculla, Dombivli and Thane.

Jain said the CR was also working to ensure commuters are informed in time about any failure in service. "We are trying to fix the train management system within three months," said Jain. "This system will help people to know the exact time of arrival of trains and also help make announcements inside the compartments, in case of technical failure."

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