Crime against women has been increasing gradually which is questioning the security precautions that Mumbai Local Railways hold. This is the reason why the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is taking its first step towards building a stringent safety system for women.
In a first, MRVC is developing a railway infrastructure with a higher emphasis on the safety and security of women commuting in Mumbai Locals every day. There are 75 lakh commuters who use the suburban railway network amongst which 20% are female passengers according to an unknown source.
In order to make 19 railway stations gender sensitive, MRVC has asked consultants to chalk out designs ensuring stations to be gender sensitive. Their main aim is to eliminate shadowed areas at railway stations where thieves and eve teasers hide.
A senior officer, on the condition of anonymity, told the Mumbai Mirror that, “The idea is that no women should feel threatened – that a person is lurking in the shadows. There should be no such areas with station premises.” Stations would be lighted up with lightings everywhere properly in order to ensure that there are no dark corners.
The 19 stations taken for this project are Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Dombivali, Shahad, Neral, Kasara on the Central Railway. Harbour line includes GTB Nagar, Chembur, Govandi, Mankhurd and Mumbai Central, Jogeshwari, Kandivali, Mira Road, Bhayander, Vasai Road, Nalasopara and Virar on Western Railway.
These stations have been sanctioned under the MUTP and quadrupling of lines between Virar and Dahanu. The heights and shape of FOBs are set to be standard for all stations. These stations will also have feeding centres for lactating mothers, especially in the entire Virar-Dahanu line.
Additional facilities include concourse area with special utility court and house food stalls, ATM’s, and other shops. Signages at stations and the Public Announcement system will also be enhanced. “The measures highlighted in the study will be fully addressed,” an official told Mumbai Mirror.
Another official told the Mumbai Mirror that, “We are aiming at increasing the number of women commuters by ensuring adequate facilities for a comfortable journey.” A total number of 22 lakh travel during peak hours.