In the hope to get through to offending commuters and prevent them from committing destructive acts, the Railway Protection Force of the Central Railway has put up more than 10,000 posters in locals, warning them against violating laws and kicking up a fuss for co-passengers.
The posters ask commuters not to commit offences such as travelling in coaches reserved for women or the physically disabled, harassing co-passengers, trespassing tracks, performing deadly stunts and so on.
If commuters break the rules, the RPF would take away their railway tickets or passes. It could also book the offenders under sections 155, 354 and 162 of the Indian Railways Act, which allows for punishment by jailing offenders for two years and imposing a fine of Rs 500, raised from Rs 100 earlier.
RPF officials said they were fed up of being blamed for accidental deaths of those crossing tracks or performing amateur stunts. “This way we can reach lakhs of passengers who commute daily in locals. Passengers who witness such incidences can report them to us on the helpline numbers. Our men will immediately reach the spot or the next station to rescue a life in danger,” said an official from RPF. Thousands of passengers die every year since they do not bother to abide by the safety and other regulations.
“The posters are meant to assert the rights as well as responsibilities of over seven million passengers on the suburban rail network,” a railway police official said.
Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner (RPF), CR, said, “We have printed the posters to raise awareness among passengers.”
Number of GRP personnel deployed on Central and Western Railways for the safety of over 7 million everyday commuters
RPF to seize passes of offenders
The RPF has introduced a new form of penalty whereby it would seize the tickets or railway passes of commuters who break the law
In case of emergency during commute, dial GRP, RPF, CR or the police on following numbers :
1090, 983 333 1111
Harsh on molesters
A new provision under section 354 of the Indian Railways Act says that harassers may be awarded imprisonment up to two years or fine of Rs 500 for molesting women. This follows a spate of recent outrageous incidents of sexual and other violence against women.
No of Railway Protection Force (RPF) men deployed by Western Railway
No of RPF staff deployed by Central Railway