After the Bombay high court took suo motu cognisance of a Hindustan Times report on the molestation of a Navi Mumbai-based woman aboard a suburban train, the railway authorities have decided to ask women what should be done to make their commute safer.
The survey, which began on September 30 on the Western Railway, has seen Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers interview more than 215 commuters until Friday. It will continue for at least another two weeks, railway authorities said.
"Though we have an idea about what women commuters want, we wanted to be sure of their expectations. This initiative has been taken after the high court took up the case of a woman who was molested on a local train and was later snubbed by railway officers. The issue has raised a big question about the safety and security of women on local trains," said Mahim Swamy, inspector general (Western Railway).
From the suggestions received, the RPF has short-listed three. Women want round-the-clock security in their compartments, which the RPF says is not possible at present due to shortage of manpower. They also want an end to the practice of turning a ladies compartment into a general one after 10.30pm, and they say hawkers should be banned from their compartments.
The suggestions will be converted into a report, which will be submitted to the general manager of Western Railway for further action. The survey will also be conducted on the Central Railway soon.