Chennai: Women travelling in trains can now hope for safer trips with Railways today saying it would introduce an all India helpline for them to send an alarm to the nearest railway station in times of distress.
"Next month we are looking at launching an all India helpline for the safety of women that will send an alert to nearest railway station," Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said here.
He was speaking after flagging off the Chennai Central- Visakhapatnam weekly superfast express.
Noting that Railways had come out with an integrated security system and had already spent Rs 41 crore in 40 locations all over India, he said, "We have already provided escorts in ladies compartments and also RPF to escort ladies compartment."
"In fact, I launched an application in Mumbai for women's safety, which will ensure that women in distress can send an alert to the nearest railway station, so that police can take care of that. By next month, we would like to launch an all India helpline...Anybody in the country (women) can access it," he said.
Observing that the southern zone was a major thrust area for modernisation, he said one of the better travel services that Railways was putting forth was deployment of more lady constables in women's compartments. "My idea is to put more CCTV cameras to increase safety of women".
The Railways' objective is to provide better network and more basic amenities, he said, adding, they wanted to modernise the system and provide more amenities for which funds were needed.
He said the weekly superfast express was the beginning of providing more amenities in southern zone and urged state governments to come forward and take up projects jointly with the Centre by floating a Special Purpose Vehicle.
"We would like to provide more and more services and for that, I appeal to state governments to join hands with us. Your objective and our objective are the same....To provide better amenities to our citizens," he said.
Prabhu said many states had already signed MoUs with the Railway Ministry while others are in the process of doing so.
"The objective is to bring out SPVs in each state so that we provide better amenities and increase efficiency in the states," he said.
"Central government and state governments will develop new projects and amenities for a particular state together", he said.