The Western Railway Mumbai on Thursday introduced a new alarm device on women’s compartment to enhance the safety of women passengers on Mumbai’s suburban local trains. The new device, which is a buzzer-cum-glowlight, will help railway officials to pin-point the compartment from where the alarm chain has been pulled and reach there at the earliest. The facility will be extended to all compartments soon.
“Earlier, it used to take time for railway officials to locate from which compartment the chain had been pulled. The new device will solve this problem and help officials to provide assistance to the affected compartments at the earliest,” a senior railway official said.
“At present, when any commuter pulls a chain in the train, a metal flag protrudes from the top corner of the affected coach. This helps railway officials to detect the coach from which the chain has been pulled and fix the problem. But the metal flag is so small that it takes time for officials to find the coach and leads to delay. There is more of a problem during night,” KS Kapur, senior divisional electrical engineer (rolling stock) told HT.
Railway sources said the present mechanism also gave scope to miscreants. “Do you know that roof-top travelers on local trains can control the train’s running and stop the train where they want to by simply pulling out that small metal flag at the top corner of each coach. This not only detains the train, but leads to a delay in all the following trains also,” another senior official said.
“During the peak hours, this is more of a problem as roof-top travelers use this mechanism to halt the fast train wherever they want and walk free, delaying all trains. The new mechanism which is electronically controlled will solve this problem too as miscreants will not be able to tamper with it. Whenever a chain is pulled, a light will glow and a buzzer will ring in the compartment,” he added.
· No of roof-top travelers on local trains booked in 2006: 16,515
· No of roof-top travelers on local trains jailed in 2006: 1,893
· Fine recovered from roof-top travelers: 18.73 lakh
· On an average there are 1-2 cases of chain pulling per day.
· On Dec 5, there were 5 chain-pulling incidents between 5:51 pm and 7:49 pm delaying many trains in evening peak hours
· On Dec 22, there were 6 chain-pulling incidents between 4:28 pm and 10:18 pm delaying many trains in evening peak hours.