Metro coaches were reserved as Delhi does not respect women: Sreedharan

Last Updated 24 January 2011, 11:08 IST

"We started because of a large number of complaints from ladies," Sreedharan told IANS in an interview. "I personally feel that Delhi is one city where they don't respect their women."

He said that Metros in other Indian cities may not need to have separate 'women only' coaches.
From Oct 2 last year, Delhi Metro reserved the first coach of every train for women. Initially, there seemed to be a lot of resistance from the male commuters, some of whom continued to travel in the reserved coaches.

The situation changed after several male passengers travelling in the women's coach were thrashed by police personnel in the evening on Nov 25. The incident was shown repeatedly on television channels.

Delhi Metro initially imposed a fine of Rs.200 on men found travelling on women-only coaches, which was increased by Rs.50 following the Nov 25 incident.Mobile squads are deployed to conduct surprise checks and ensure compliance.

According to Delhi Metro officials, the mobile squads have caught 1,823 offenders till Dec 31, 2010, collecting a total of Rs.455,750 in fines.Not surprisingly, Sreedharan  said, while women appreciate the move, the men have not been positive.

"The gents don't appreciate it. I also appreciate their reason - because they say that out of four coaches, one is given for ladies and the three others include mixed crowds of families and are  overcrowded."

But he said the situation will improve after the introduction of six-coach trains."Already we have introduced three  six-coach trains in the Dwaraka Sector 21 to Noida City Centre (Line 3). We think one or two six-coach trains will be introduced every week hereafter," the Metro chief said.

Each coach of a Delhi Metro train can accommodate 361 commuters (43 seating and 318 standing). At present, a four-coach train has a carrying capacity of 1,200-1,500 passengers. The six-coach train will be able to take in about 1,800-2,100 people per trip.

Comprising six lines and 133 stations, the network now serves Delhi and neighbouring Gurgaon and Noida.At present, Delhi Metro has an average daily ridership of 1.5 million, nearly one-fourth of whom are women.Delhi Metro has 188 trains, which will be increased to 208 by the end of 2011.

(Published 24 January 2011, 11:08 IST)

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