Bengaluru: The South Western Railway (SWR) here on Tuesday opened a dormitory exclusively for transit halt of lady passengers at the city`s main station.
Touted to be the country`s first such amenity for women passengers, the dormitory with 16 cubicles on the first floor of the station`s city building has been carved out of the 30-bed dormitory common for men and families.
"We have decided to provide a separate dormitory at the city station for lady passengers in response to such a demand from them online and offline," SWR general manager PS Saxena told a news agency here on the occasion.
The dormitory will be manned by women staff and housekeeping by women attendants.
"Besides a bed, a small table, a chair and a locker, the dormitory has a common washroom and an attendant for help or service," the official said.
To ensure safety and security of women passengers, a sentry will be on duty in two shifts and a closed circuit TV camera in and around the dormitory will monitor movement of commuters and others.
A cubicle will be charged Rs 125 for 12 hours and Rs 200 for 24 hours. Accommodation will be available on first-come, first-served basis and stay can be extended by 12 or 24 hours subject to availability.
The cubicle can be taken on arrival at the station or booked in advance online system after making train reservation to the city station.
"We will assess response for 90 days and decide to continue the all-women dormitory. We will expand capacity if demand is high and reduce cubicles if not many takers for it," Saxena noted.
Being among the 200 A-1 class stations in 68 divisions across the country, the Bengaluru main station in the city centre is one of the busiest, operating about 70 trains to ferry over a lakh passengers daily.
"Several women passengers from other parts of Karnataka and outside the state travel in train to the city on short visits for various reasons, ranging from work, studies, tourism or transit halt to changing trains."
"As the station is centrally located and much safer, a dormitory is a secure place for them to stay," Saxena added.