The Pune Division of Central Railway (CR) is planning to employ women police personnel in long-distance trains. Women personnel are presently deployed only in women coaches of Pune-Lonavala locals during peak hours.
“At least 29 trains are being escorted by RPF personnel every day apart from six suburban locals between Pune and Lonavala. Women staff of RPF are escorting ladies coaches of locals in peak hours between Pune and Lonavala. The administration is going to deploy women police personnel in long-distance trains to create a sense of safety and security among women passenges,” said Divisional Security Commissioner (Pune) Arun Tripathi.
The CR also has a programme in which women travelling alone are counselled by police officers about the safety precautions they need to take and how to seek assistance from Railway Protection Force (RPF) in distress situations.
The RPF also conducts special drives to prevent entry of male passengers in compartment reserved for women. If found, they are prosecuted under a provision of Railway Act. In 2019, as many as 402 cases were registered against men who boarded women-only coaches, who were fined Rs 62,150 by the Railway Court.
The RPF is also ensuring that Pune, Miraj, Kolhapur and Shivajinagar stations are brought under 24×7 surveillance through CCTV cameras. Proposals have been made under the Nirbhaya Fund for more CCTV cameras for suburban stations.
“RPF officials are holding regular coordination meetings with state police and GRP regarding safety and security of passengers, especially women,” said Tripathi.
He added that NGO Sathi has a helpdesk at Pune station for women and runaway children. Passengers can call on the RPF toll-free all India security helpline number 182 during an emergency.
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