Stretches in South Mumbai, Central Mumbai most unsafe on Western Railway

Mumbai: Stung by repeated instances of attacks on women commuters, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has identified vulnerable stretches on Western Railway (WR).

Most of these locations are in south and central Mumbai. The RPF will be cracking down on drug addicts and beggars in these stretches.

“The most sensitive stretch identified in the survey is the Marine Lines-Mumbai Central belt. Maximum deployment of RPF personnel is being made here. After that comes the stretch between Mahalaxmi and Dadar,” a senior official said.

“Office-goers throng the Mahalaxmi to Dadar belt during weekdays. But the belt is not as crowded on Sundays and public holidays,” the official added.For its “zero tolerance” drive, train ticket examiners have been roped in. “We want to ensure that not a single drug addict or beggar is present at the stretches ranked most sensitive. We do not want woman commuters to feel unsafe,” said senior RPF divisional security commissioner (WR) Rajendra Rupnawar. Nearly 1,500 drug addicts and beggars were rounded up by the Government Railway Police on WR and CR lines after a US national was mugged recently.

RPF’s woman squads have been interacting with female commuters on WR and briefing them about the helplines and how it is necessary for them to intervene in case a co-passenger is in distress. “We are facing an urgent personnel crisis,” an RPF official pointed out. “In order to guard areas outside each ladies compartment on platforms between Churchgate to Virar, we need 765 men in a single shift, assuming that only 12-coach rakes ply,” he added.