Mumbai Metro functioning for barely two months has announced separate coaches for women, commuters on Delhi Metro too get the facility. However, Namma Metro has no such facility for its women commuters.
In fact, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) has no plans to implement such a facility in the near future.
This is despite the two reported cases of molestation and the many unreported incidents of eve-teasing and misbehaviour toward women on board Namma Metro.
The BMRCL officials, however, feel differently about their services. They say that since the Namma Metro ridership is too less, women commuters need not stick to one or two coaches and can sit anywhere they want.
Officials add that it would inconvenience women commuters if they had to walk through the train to sit in the reserved “women only” seats.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said, “As of now, the ridership is less in both the reaches, Reach 1 from Baiyappanahalli to MG Road and Reach 3 from Swastik to Peenya, so women commuters can sit wherever they want.
Later, we will assess the situation and decide accordingly, when the Phase 1 is completed and the much-needed connectivity is there between all the reaches on Phase I.”
On the other hand, regular women commuters beg to differ and feel that women only coaches would be safer.
Huma, who works at an upmarket store, is a regular commuter of Reach 1 from Baiyappanahalli to MG Road. “Usually, I finish work and leave after 9 pm and take the Metro to reach home which is about two kilometres ahead of the Baiyappanahalli station.
At night, many times, there are groups of men who look out for female passengers sitting alone and sit next to them. It happened to me once and I felt really intimidated.
If there are separate coaches for women and some BMRCL personnel to ensure that women only coaches are not trespassed, Namma Metro will become safer for women like me who travel everyday,” she said.
Namma Metro is already in its third year of operations on the 6.7-km Reach 1 from Baiyappanahalli to MG Road and the 10-km Reach 3 from Swastik to Peenya is operating since March this year. Mumbai Metro started operations on June 8 and the 11.4-km Metro Rail runs east-west between Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar.