Tharoor questions government over women's safety in railways

Tharoor questions government over women's safety in railways
Shashi Tharoor. Photo: PTI
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New Delhi: A day after the government in a written reply informed the Lok Sabha that the installation of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Indian Railways was under tendering stage, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday questioned the government over the implementation of the Nirbhaya Fund in the national transporter for the safety of women passengers.

"In response to my question on Integrated Emergency Response Management Systems (IERMS), a mechanism to provide speedier assistance to passengers in distress (especially women), the Railway Minister (Piyush Goyal) stated that it is still in its tendering stage. Does the government have a timeline for the project," Tharoor tweeted, attaching the reply to his question in the Lower House by the Railway Minister.

Tharoor had asked the Railway Minister whether IERMS for the security of women passengers have been established in 900 railway stations, and if so, the details of thereoff, state-wise.

In another three questions, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram asked whether all the existing IERMS are functional as on date. If so, whether IERMS have been installed in all railway stations in Thiruvananthapuram, and if not, the time by when the system is likely to be installed and the details of the amount utilised for the IERMS since 2014, year and state wise.

In reply to Tharoor's questions, Goyal had said that it has been decided to provide video survellience system (VSS) under the Nirbhaya Fund on 983 stations at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore for effective monitoring mechanism and speedier assistance to passengers, especially women passengers in distress.

Goyal said a standard operating procedure (SOP) defining the role and responsibility of on duty staff has been formulated to render assistance to passengers in minimum possible time.

The Minister said that a number of stations identified for the provision of VSS under Nirbhaya FUnd have been appended. "The IERMS is in tendering stage and bids have been invited. The SOP is applicable to all railway stations, including Thiruvananthapuram," Goyal said.

The Railway Minister also shared state wise data for the proposed VSS system.

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