Men sneak through women-only metro doors, staff 'helpless'

Men sneak through women-only metro doors, staff 'helpless'

The women-only entrance rule by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited is not working out with men in the company of women seen boarding the train through the reserved doors at many metro stations.

With no regulation inside the coach, they are also seen occupying seats, though not reserved for women but are understood to be for their occupation. The men often argue they could sit if the seat is empty and if they are elderly.

The BMRCL barred men from entering the coaches through the first two doors, putting up boards declaring they are for 'women only', but some men turn a blind eye to the instructions.

While the restrictions are strictly enforced during peak hours, they are seemingly relaxed during non-peak hours at most stations, where women staff, deployed near the doors to ensure men do not enter through the first two doors, are absent.

"Some men stand near the (entrance) door while others occupy the seats meant for women. Even if they accompany women, they enter from the third door and occupy the seats (where women usually sit)," said Rajamma A, a regular commuter from Mysuru Road.

She said men pay no heed to the announcements made in the trains about the reserved doors and urged the BMRCL to make the coaches women-only.

A woman staffer wishing not to be named said separating men from women inside coaches is difficult without proper bifurcation, while also acknowledging putting a physical division will be inconvenient.

"People should follow rules," she said. "We can only request them from outside but can't monitor things from inside the coach. Especially on peak hours, when crowd control becomes a huge challenge."

The BMRCL's General Manager  (Finance) and Chief Public Relations Officer U A Vasanth Rao said the idea of reserving the first two entrance doors of the train came up after women pointed out discomforts in using the metro.

"We'll examine why the rule (of making the first two doors women-only) is not strictly followed," Rao said. "The first coach would be made completely women-only when the number of coaches would become six instead of the current three."  

 

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