The railways is not considering providing emergency push buttons in the washroom of trains as an additional measure for women’s safety, despite a suggestion from the Ministry of Women and Child Development to do so, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Rajya Sabha.
“Suggestions had been received from the Ministry of Women and Child Development with regard to strengthening security of women passengers which, inter-alia, included provision of emergency button in trains. Since Emergency Alarm Chain System is already available in coaches, provision of emergency push button in all coaches is not being considered at this juncture,” he said.
Two women, including a student of an agricultural university, were found dead in the toilets of two trains in Assam earlier this month. While the student of Assam Agricultural University in Jorhat was found dead in a toilet of Kamakhya Express on July 10 morning, the body of an elderly woman was found in a toilet of the Avadh Assam Express the next day.
Listing the measures taken by the railways to strengthen security for women in trains, Gohain said, “On trial basis, Emergency Talk Back System has been provided in six ladies coaches of two Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes in Mumbai Suburban. One air conditioned EMU rake running in Mumbai Suburban has also been fitted with this system.”
“Provision of Emergency Talk Back System is also being envisaged in all newly manufactured EMU rakes under Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-III project,” the minister said.
He said the All India Security Helpline — 182 — is being upgraded at a cost of Rs 5.59 crore and being integrated with an app to make it more passenger friendly and effective.
Passengers are being made aware about women’s safety by way of posters, stickers, distribution of pamphlets and other means. Besides, emphasis has also been laid on audio, visual publicity, street plays, public campaigns and through regular announcements, Gohain said.