मुंबई Mumbai: A parliamentary panel has asked the railway board to install an emergency alarm system, CCTV cameras and ensure 24/7 presence of women security guards inside ladies’ coaches of suburban trains to prevent crimes against women.
The February 2014 standing committee report—Suburban Train Services of Indian Railways, with Particular Emphasis on Security of Women Passengers—has recommended a number of measures to improve women commuters’ safety.
The committee has recommended an alarm or a warning bell in the ladies’ coach that must be connected to the loco cabin and guard cabins. “It should immediately indicate the coach number and, if feasible, a link should be provided to the RPF booth of a nearby station.”
The committee has also asked the railways to speed up activation of a uniform helpline. The report said different zones have different helpline numbers, which creates confusion. “The number should be displayed outside schools, colleges, offices and women’s hostels.”
The panel has suggested that coaches be guarded by women personnel “at all times”. It has also asked the railways to ensure a visible security presence at stations and on trains.
It also observed that representation of women in the RPF is a negligible 1.7% even as the policy specifies 10% reservation for women in the force. It added, “Underrepresentation of women in the RPF is one of the reasons for lack of security. The process of recruiting women constables should be expedited.”
The report has also taken a dim view of unauthorized vendors in ladies’ coaches. It has recommended security cameras inside coaches and on platforms. The panel, though, cautioned that such surveillance should not compromise privacy.