Young working women do not feel safe travelling by the Metro during the dark hours. Believed to be the best public transport system in the Capital, even special coaches for women have failed to inculcate sense of security among them, thanks to lack of security arrangements.
Some corridors where women feel highly vulnerable include Rajiv Chowk-Kashmere Gate, Kashmere Gate-Dilshad Garden and Central Secretariat-Badarpur.
Hindustan Times spoke to a number of women commuters on these stretches and found that they do not feel safe while travelling by Metro during night hours. They demanded deployment of security guards in women coaches.
Metro caters to almost 17 lakh commuters every day of which over four lakh are women, according to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Many women said they stop short of lodging police complaints, fearing embarrassment. Pallavi S, 28, of Greater Kailash II, a daily metro commuter on the line connecting Central Secretariat to Badarpur, said: “It is really very unsafe to travel by Metro during night when many men in drunken condition commute. They mostly stand at the intersection of ladies compartments and pass lewd comments.”
Another commuter Smita Bansal, 30, of Shahadra said: “A guard is very much needed inside each women’s coach in Metro. Out of every 10 women on board, one faces harassment by men mostly during night hours. Presence of a guard will definitely give a sense of security among the female folks.”
Echoing Bansal’s sentiments, 20-year-old Priya Sachdeva of Lajpat Nagar said: “There has been a tendency among some men to touch women commuters. There should be someone guarding the women coaches at least during night.”
Keeping the safety and security of the Metro commuters in mind during the Commonwealth Games last October, CISF women commandoes along with their male counterparts were deployed inside the Metro to ensure security. However, with the Games coming to an end, this service was also withdrawn.
On April 18, DMRC introduced flying squads to guard women commuters. DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal, said: “If harassment of women commuters have become a pattern, we will make arrangements to deploy security guards inside Metros on identified stretches soon.”