Chandigarh, Jan 14 (IANS) Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal Monday said it was not possible to assign women constables in all the 51,000 train coaches in the country amid rising concerns for their safety in public transport.
Talking to media here after flagging off a new Shatabdi Express train between Chandigarh and New Delhi, Bansal said: "It would not be possible to provide women constables in each of the 51,000 coaches that the Indian Railways runs."
"Steps have been taken to sensitise the male constabulary regarding this very important aspect (of women safety) and also to ensure that no male passenger boards the compartments reserved exclusively for ladies. Wherever possible we shall also be deploying women constables in the trains," Bansal said.
Justifying the recently announced hike in railway fares, Bansal said that the major share of the Rs.1,200-crore additional revenue which is likely to be collected by March 31, 2013, would be spent on the security and safety of the trains.
"A part of this revenue would be spent for a special cleanliness drive under which 100 railway stations, including Chandigarh, have been shortlisted," he said.
Chandigarh, which has a population of over one million, is 250 km from the national capital.
There has been demands of stepping up security in public transport due to
rising incidents of crime against women, including the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape in which a 23-year-old para-medical student was brutally assaulted in a moving bus, who later succumbed to her injuries, sparking a nationwide outrage.