As on the suburban railway system, women will now have their own space in the Metro as well, with the operator of the city’s first Metro having decided to reserve a major portion of one coach in every train for women.
The new arrangement will be in place from August 15, and will take the total number of reserved seats for women to 32 from the current 24. At present, seats reserved for women are scattered in all four coaches of a train. The seating capacity of every coach alternates between 48 and 52 seats.
“As per the new arrangement, one coach of every train will be divided by strip separators to create space for women commuters. The total number of seats within the reserved area will be 32 as against 24 seats provided at present,” said a spokesperson of the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd.
The space would be reserved in the Versova end of the coaches in all trains, he added. With this, the reservation of seats for women in other parts of the train will be removed.
Aloma Rego (27), who commutes daily on the Metro between Andheri and Ghatkopar, said, “At present, nobody considers the seats marked for women as reserved seats. We often see men sitting on them. So, keeping an entire space aside for women with a separator may be a good idea.”
The MMOPL spokesperson clarified that the existing reservation of seats in every coach for senior citizens and physically challenged will continue.
The Metro operator plans to put up signage on the platform and train doors to mark the entry to the coach reserved for women commuters, as well as depute women staff for any help.
“Male commuters will not be allowed to enter the reserved space for women under any circumstances. If any male commuter tries to enter the reserved space for women, they will be strictly dealt with. CCTV cameras are installed inside the trains for monitoring,” the MMOPL spokesperson said, adding that children up to 12 years accompanied by women passengers will be allowed to board the coach.