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All-women staff at Mumbai’s Matunga station demands better security

The Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh, one of the biggest labour union, has written to the principal chief commercial manager, WR, about the problems faced by the women staff

mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2018 00:27 IST
Mumbai,RPF,Matunga
The all women staff at Matunga station. (HT file )

The all-women railway staff at Matunga Road station recently highlighted safety issues while on duty at night. Their concerns were forwarded to senior Western Railway (WR) officials, who are now planning to increase security at booking office and station premises.

The booking office and the entry to the station, according to the women staff, is isolated. They also claimed the presence of anti-social elements at night. To strengthen their case, the staff highlighted two incidents. In the first case, a drunkard entered the station and slept the booking office. He refused to leave despite being asked to. In the second instance, a man entered the booking office and offered cold drinks to the women staff.

“Both the incidents were scary. At night, only one booking clerk is present in the office. The area outside the ticket window is full of anti-social elements, which makes the job risky,” said a woman staff.

The Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS), one of the biggest labour union, has written to the principal chief commercial manager, WR, about the problems faced by the women staff.

The letter states: “Women workers of commercial department met the general secretary and complained about the location of Matunga Road station is very close to the main street and also isolated, and anti-social elements are wandering at night. There is no woman Railway Protection Force (RPF) security available to the lonely commercial clerk during night. This is a very risky situation as criminals take undue advantage of this situation. We, therefore, request you to kindly appreciate the gravity of the genuine problem and not book them in shift between 10pm to 6am in the interest of their security and safety.”

The WR said it will deploy two woman RPF personnel at the booking office to monitor the station premises at night and a helpline number for the officials.

“We will provide a hotline number between the booking office and station masters cabin. In case of emergency, the woman clerk can swiftly use it to alert the station master office. One male RPF will also monitor the station during night time,” said Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager, western railway.

Matunga Road station became the second suburban railway station to be completely operated by women staff on March 8. Last year, the Central Railway (CR) had converted Matunga station into an all-women staff station, making it the first suburban station in the country to do so.

GFX:

#Matunga Road railway station was converted into an all women staff operated railway station on March 8.

#31 women staff is posted at the station. The staff include station manager, station masters, booking office clerks, ticket checkers, pointsmen, railway protection force and cleaners took over the functioning of the railway station.

#The staff have been posted in shifts and during night only one staff is posted at the booking office due to less sales of tickets during night.

#Matunga station on the central railway became the first all women operated suburban railway station in 2017.

#Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur became the first outstation train station to be completely operated by women staff.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 00:26 IST