CR wants gents, ladies compartments poles apart
It appears that the Central Railway (CR) General Manager Subodh Jain has found an ingenious solution to resolve the issue of rising number of harassment cases in local trains on the Central line.
He wants to keep ladies and gents compartments poles apart. According to railway officials, they receive around 30 complaints on a daily basis from female passengers. Most of the complaints lodged on the Government Railway Police (GRP) helpline — 9833331111 — are about harassment by male commuters and boys over the age of 12 travelling in the ladies compartment.
As per GRP statistics, 517 cases of offence against women passengers were registered in 2011. This year, the number has already crossed 500.
A senior CR official said, “The figures are alarming and it is time we think about a solution that will bring down the ever-increasing number of complaints. I don’t think the GM’s dream of separating coaches will materialise anytime soon, nor will the complaints go down.”
Commenting on keeping gents and ladies coaches away from each other, Jain said it was an uphill task but the process was initiated and the last two compartments — ladies coaches — of the recently launched 15-car service on the Central main line was the beginning.
Keeping in mind the safety of women commuters, last year the GRP deployed one personnel per compartment that was later raised to two. These personnel are deployed in ladies compartment from 8 pm onwards and stick around till the last train.
But women commuters are not at all satisfied with this kind of security. Sujata Dalvi, who travels daily on the Thakurli-CST route after 10 pm, said she had hardly seen any GRP personnel on guard in ladies compartments.
“I think this is a good idea if railway authorities can change the specifications and separate gents and ladies coaches. Harassment has become a part of our daily life and very few women actually go and lodge complaints against men who tease them,” said Dalvi.
GRP Helpline 9833331111
500 Number of complaints registered on the helpline this year
517 Number of complaints registered last year