Indian Railways issues guidelines on safety of women passengers

Keeping in view safety of the women passengers in trains, the Indian Railways on Saturday said it has issued guidelines to all zonal railways to prevent crime against women in trains and railway premises.

A railway ministry spokesperson said that about 23 million passengers travel through the Indian Railways every day out of which 20 per cent are women. He said that in the recent past, incidents of crime against women in trains and railway premises has been a big area of concern.

The official said that the railways has decided to take some measures to strive for safety of women passengers and to mitigate atrocities against women in railways.

The spokesperson said that the national transporter has issued guidelines to all zonal railways and production units to prevent incidents of crime against women in trains and in railway premises.

He said that the railways action plan includes short-term as well as long-term measures. Short-term plans should be implemented immediately from existing resources on priority without delay. These may include keeping a watch on suspects, regular visits to vulnerable spots by duty officers and staff during their rounds.

Discussing the preventive measures to ensure safety of women, he said that proper lighting arrangements should be ensured covering all vulnerable places identified in railway stations, circulating area, parking, foot over bridges (FOBs), approach roads, ends of platforms, yards, washing lines, DEMU / EMU car sheds, saloon sidings, maintenance depots, etc.

The railways preventive plan also focuses on the abandoned structures in platforms or yards, abandoned quarters, buildings at isolated places which remain unguarded or unattended. He said that such structures should be demolished immediately in consultation with the engineering department.

“Till the time of their demolition, they should be regularly checked as part of the beat of on duty staff especially during night time or period when the presence of people is minimal,” the official said.

The spokesperson said that the unauthorised entries and exits should also be closed, and yards or pits or nearby railway area of stations must be kept clean of unwanted vegetation which may provide cover for concealment.

The railways plan also focuses on waiting rooms. The plans says these must not remain unattended and persons should be allowed to enter the waiting rooms after proper entry, particularly in nights and at times when there is minimum presence of passengers. It should be cross checked by the duty officer at odd hours.

He said that no staff without identity cards should be allowed in trains and railway premises.

The prevention plan also discusses barring the entry of people without proper identity cards in the yards and coaching depots.

To keep tabs on people watching porn through free WiFi internet services being provided by railways in the station premises , the official said that railway employees must communicate with service providers to stop this.

The official said that the cases of crime against women must be followed up till their logical conclusion.

The official also said that to control incidents of eve-teasing, the GRP and RPF officials must promptly take necessary action on receiving complaints regarding any type of crime against women.

The official said that the CCTV surveillance system should be used effectively and time to time audit of the cameras installed and the area covered by them should be done.

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