Safety plans on slow track
Railway and state authorities may have chalked out elaborate plans to improve women's safety in local trains and within railway premises, but it's taking them too long to implement the measures.mumbai Updated: Jun 11, 2012 01:06 IST
Railway and state authorities may have chalked out elaborate plans to improve women's safety in local trains and within railway premises, but it's taking them too long to implement the measures.
Last year, the railway police obtained sanction to engage 300 home guards to patrol the city's railway stations, of which 10% were to be women.
This scheme should have been executed by this January, but they have so far got only 100 home guards, of whom 50 are women.
"We have taken up the issue at the senior-most level and the remaining guards should join the Railways soon," said Mahim Swamy, inspector general, Railway Protection Force, Western Railway.
Similarly, the Government Railway Police's plan to deploy constables 24x7 in ladies' compartments has been stalled because of staff shortage, sources said.
"We have personnel in ladies' coaches in the morning and at night. We try to provide as much protection as possible," said GS Bhandare, deputy commissioner of police, Central Railway.
After HT reported about the attack on a woman at Nerul station in June 2011 and Bombay high court took suo motu cognisance of the issue, rapping authorities, the railway police formed two task forces. These task forces, Swamy said, employ women constables who are on constant patrol and conduct random checks.
"We also have helplines. As soon as a complaint is called in, the task forces provide the required assistance," said Swamy.
Kavya Iyer, 23, assistant producer with UTV, said: "I take the train back home around 10.30pm. On several occasions, I have seen men barge into our coaches. There are no women constables during non-peak hours to stop this," she said.
Swamy said the police have launched a massive drive to arrest male passengers who enter women's compartments.
"We have arrested thousands of men. I agree that these men create a lot of havoc for women travellers, and they are being dealt with," he said.