Amid growing concern over crime incidents involving women travellers, Railways is planning to launch an app for the safety of lady passengers in trains.
The Safety App, which is being developed by CRIS, the technology arm of Railways, will have to be downloaded on mobile phones and can be used to send distress messages to RPF and GRP with the single press of a button, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday.
“Women’s safety is not only Railways’ but our entire society’s concern. As a Railway Minister, it is my serious concern,” Prabhu said after launching WiFi service at the New Delhi railway station.
“We are planning to make an app operational for women passengers. If a woman passenger pushes the App (button), then the RPF or GRP will immediately get the information and prompt action can be taken. Station masters will also get the alert message,” he said.
Prabhu also proposed installing of CCTV cameras in compartments as a preventive measure.
“I want CCTV on the passage of train compartments so that movement of suspicious character can be spotted and it will not be an intrusion of privacy of passengers,” he said. In order to prevent open discharge on railway tracks and improve hygienic condition at rail premises, the Minister advocated use of bio-toilets in trains.
“Unfortunately the discharge of human waste is affecting the line and also causing serious health problems. That is why there is a need for use of bio-toilets in maximum trains,” he said.
Though bio-toilets are currently installed in many trains, there are reports of them malfunctioning, in some cases due to the throwing of bottles and other materials into these newly set up systems.
Prabhu said Railways is also exploring options for improving the design to make them cheaper for installing them in as many trains as possible.
“We have called many known scientists and IIT directors for formulating plan for proliferation of bio-toilets in Railways. We will see if there is a need for more research and development in bio-toilets in more trains,” he said, adding that Railways is looking to use science and technology to provide more and more facilities to passengers.