MRVC survey: 45% women face harassment on Neral-Karjat section of CRUpdated: Nov 08, 2019 00:08 IST
A recent gender survey by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has revealed that 45% of women passengers travelling between Virar and Dahanu, faced harassment on that section of the suburban network.
Additionally, four in 10 women passengers complained of the same on the Neral-Karjat section.
Market Search, an independent market research agency, conducted the survey for MRVC and interviewed over 1,000 women passengers – 867 on the Virar-Dahanu section on Western Railway (WR) and 142 on the Neral- Karjat section on Central Railway (CR).
MRVC uploaded the survey results on its website on Thursday but took down the information within a few hours. MRVC officials refused to comment on the report and the corporation’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
The report found that women commuters have witnessed or been victims of harassment or threats in and around railway stations.
However, according to the report very few women file police complaints in these instances, or inform the station staff.
“Only half of them have used the Railway’s Women Safety Helpline number. Even awareness about this helpline is low among commuters. Around 50% of the helpline users did not find it useful,” states the report.
Barring issues such as station announcements, indicators, night lighting on foot overbridges (FoB), and footboard height, survey respondents gave negative ratings for food stalls and vendors, overcrowding on the trains and stations, cleanliness, insufficient ticket counters, difficulties in using automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs), and dirty washrooms.
“Around 60% of commuters complained of nursing rooms with lack of privacy,” the report said of the Virar-Dahanu section.
The survey report also included recommendations such as deploying additional police staff and increasing awareness about the women’s helpline.
“With 24-hour security, chances of harassment and threats from men passengers can be avoided and women commuters can travel safely, during non-peak hours as well,” the report stated. It recommended that panic buttons be installed at stations and on foot overbridges.
In 2016, the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) had conducted a similar gender survey of the suburban rail network.
The TISS report revealed that 23.5% of women commuters had been harassed in trains or at train stations.