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  Central Railway unveils its new panic button on trial basis

Central Railway unveils its new panic button on trial basis

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : May 29, 2016, 2:05 am IST
Updated : May 29, 2016, 2:05 am IST

The Central Railway (CR) has unveiled its new panic button installed in the ladies coach, which would be an added security feature ensure safer travel.

The panic button installed in a CR train
 The panic button installed in a CR train

The Central Railway (CR) has unveiled its new panic button installed in the ladies coach, which would be an added security feature ensure safer travel. The panic button, located below the luggage rack in the experimental 12-coach train, has been already put into service.

When pressed, it will give out a siren with flashing lights and send an alert to the motorman and the motor guard informing them about the compartment from which the button was hit. The motorman will inform the headquarters, which will then inform the station master about the threat situation. “Once the station master is informed, he will call up the government railway police which will send its men to the platform the train pulls into. The train will not move further till the problem on hand is rectified,” said an official.

 

On an average each compartment will have two such panic buttons and the ladies special train will have 14 in total, but currently the experiment is being done on only one 12-coach rake. “Usually, we study the response to such trials for three months, and if it is found that the women are indeed finding it helpful, then we will extend the experiment to other rakes in a phase-wise manner,” said the official.

The CR came up with this experiment following objections from women activists to railways proposal of installing CCTV cameras in ladies compartment. They said it would infringe on the privacy of women.

Lata Argade, who welcomed the initiative said, “If they are really doing this and conducting trials for the same, I welcome it. I had objected to the CCTV cameras because a lot of women had said that they are afraid their privacy would be violated, especially, when mothers are feeding their infants,” she said.

 

Mrs Argade however said the railways had a long way to go with regards to following up on incidents that are reported. She said the Railway Police Force (RPF) and GRP are yet to improve their response time, “It’s great that the CR is doing this but beyond that it becomes the job of RPF and GRP who still do not reach the spot on time. We still need better co-ordination there,” she added.

However, the CR’s counter part Western Railway (WR) has recently brought a tender for 22 CCTV cameras as no one had objected.