Facing a manpower crunch, Railway Protection Force (RPF) has asked the Western Railway (WR) to consider measures to ensure that all women commuters, irrespective of class of travel, board only one coach between 10 pm and 5 am in local trains so that RPF personnel can ensure providing quick assistance to them in times of distress.
The RPF recently sent a letter to the WR to this effect after studying the travelling pattern of women commuters and finding that an average of 10 women per coach per station travelled during 10 pm and 5 am.
Since there are only 30 to 40 personnel to man 28 stations on WR, the RPF has asked the railways to consider their proposal for better security at railway platforms.
A total of 27, 894 coaches were surveyed during night hours for two months last year. A total of 2,13,316 women passengers were found travelling between 10 pm and 5 am in the coaches that were surveyed.
Based on the findings of the survey, RPF’s Chief Security Commissioner at WR, D B Kasar, has written to the railways to consider making the arrangement during night travel since the number of women commuters is very small.
While similar suggestions have been made in the past too, this time the RPF has provided quantitative data to indicate the need for having all women commuters travel in only one coach during night for better security.
“We have been trying to improve our presence and action on railway platforms. If all women commuters board one coach at night, the RPF personnel at each station will know the coach position and therefore they will be able to provide quick assistance to women commuters in distress,” said Kasar.
At present, the RPF deploys its personnel right in front of coaches for women during peak hours and non-peak hours. However, with very few women commuters at night, the manpower-starved force finds it difficult to provide RPF personnel outside each coach for women commuters.
According to Kasar, the proposal, if implemented, will make the best possible use of resources and also ensure that women commuters are safe during night travel.