Bangalore (SBC): Bowing to public demand, South Western Railway declared open the country’s first dormitory for women in a railway station at the City Railway Station here on Tuesday.
The 16-bed dormitory on the first floor of the main building of the City station was created at a cost of Rs 20 lakh by reducing the number of beds in the 32-bed male dormitory by 16 beds.
General Manager of South Western Railway, Pradeep Kumar Saxena told reporters, “The facility can even be booked online along with train tickets through the IRCTC website.” There will be 24-hour CCTV surveillance and a warden throughout to ensure safety of women, he added.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu, said that most railway stations in the country only have a waiting hall for women.
“This is the first time in the country that a dormitory exclusively for women has been opened,” Sadhu said.
Divisional Railway Manager Sanjeev Agrawal said, “The objective is to provide the amenity for genuine women passengers, who are confirmed ticket holders. But if women who have open tickets approach us for the accommodation, we will extend it to them subject to availability.”
Sunanda Arul, Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), said ladies would be charged Rs 125 for the first 12 hours and Rs 200 for 24 hours.
Each cubicle is equipped with a bed (with pillow and blanket), a table, a chair, water, garbage bins and electrical socket points. The dormitory has two toilets, two baths and two washbasins.
When asked if the number of beds provided was less, the ADRM said, “This is just the beginning. Depending on the patronage we receive, we will upgrade it.”
Saxena said, “We will check out the response after say, 60 days. If we do not get much demand, then we will have to do a rethink about it.”
Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, S Louis Amuthan, said the surveillance cameras are monitored 24 hours by the RPF control room.