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Railways will run helpline for women’s security: Minister

Ahead of his maiden rail budget on Tuesday, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has promised a 24X7 helpline for women that will be tracked real time, with top priority accorded to safety of passengers, especially women.

‘The safety and security of passengers, especially women, is top priority of the Indian Railways,’ Bansal said in an exclusive interview. ‘It’s not possible to deploy women constables in each of the 51,000 coaches. But soon there would be round-the-clock toll-free helpline for women and this will be tracked on real-time basis.’

To ensure the security of women in trains, especially to end chain- and purse-snatching incidents, the railways would ensure that no male passenger travels in all-women coaches, he said.

In the exclusive conversation with IANS on board the Shatabdi Express to his hometown Chandigarh, Bansal said most suggestions for women's safety have come from the public.

His comments come at a time when the safety of women commuting on public transport has come under a spotlight after a young woman in the national capital was gang raped on a bus on 16 December.
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