With a view to strengthen security of women passengers in trains, the North Eastern Railway (NER) plans to deploy women police personnel on trains during night hours as well as install to ‘panic buttons’ in coaches.
Since the railways is focussing on “women and child safety” this year, it plans deployment of women police personnel in sub-urban trains during night hours besides recruitment of women in the RPF among others, chief PRO of NER, Sanjay Yadav said. With reports of mishappenings with women travelling alone in trains, the railways also proposes to have ‘panic buttons’ in the coaches which will be linked with the guard coach, Yadav said.
“These buttons, placed at convenient spots for easy reach of women travellers above the electric switches, when pressed will denote the coach where there is emergency and the railway staff present in the train will be informed to promptly attend to the emergency,” Yadav said. Currently, women passengers have to depend either calling on helpline numbers by or by sending SMS, or on chain-pulling in emergency situation, but with this system immediate action can be taken, he said.
Among the other measures proposed to ensure women’s safety are having a different colour on the coaches earmarked for women for easy identification, wire mesh in windows of ladies coaches. “Work on these proposals is going on and there are chances that the one pertaining to ‘panic button’ will take shape this year itself,” he added. Railways also proposes month-wise calendar of activities with focus on women’s security and gender sensitisation and upgradation of all-India security helpline. It also proposes CCTV cameras in women’s coaches of sub-urban trains with live feed if possible, CCTV cameras on platforms to cover ladies coaches during halt of trains, amendment in the Railways Act to ensure enhanced punishment for offences pertaining to women, he said.