Kochi Metro: KMRL train coaches to get women-friendly

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Kochi: If the metro authorities’ plans bear fruit, passengers of Kochi metro rail, especially women, will get added facilities. The coaches of metro rail will have special features helpful for women including those who are pregnant. The design of the coaches will have the features catering to the elderly and physically challenged as well.

In an interactive session with Alstom, the manufacturers of the metro’s coach, and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) held in Bengaluru last week, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has given instructions to the manufacturers to incorporate certain additional features, which are women-friendly.

“We want to ensure that our passengers get maximum facilities. That’s why we held the meeting with the manufacturers,” an official with KMRL said.

“We are exploring whether some added facilities can be offered to pregnant women. Their seats, for example, can be one with an additional cushion. Some changes in the positioning and design of seats also will help them. Pregnant women will get priority for using the seats,” the official said.

It was a first round of talks in this regard, officials said.

Though there will not be any separate compartment for women, there are plans to earmark separate areas in every coach for women. “If women want to have their privacy, they can use the seats in the area. Seats reserved for women can be in a row facing each other. This will ensure that no other persons would be standing in front of them. During peak hours, it will be helpful for women and avoid eve-teasing,” sources with the metro agency said.

There will be provisions, which are friendly to physically-challenged as well as elderly. Positioning and design of the seats will be arranged in such a fashion, which is helpful to elderly. In an effort to help the visually challenged, low-frequency beep sounds will be generated from ticket counters, doors and seats earmarked for them.

“This will help them easily identify such locations. We are also exploring the possibilities of attaching provisions for keeping wheelchairs attached to the seats for physically challenged. The manufacturers have agreed to try their level best for incorporating all these suggestions,” a KMRL official said.

There are also plan to give different colours to seats of physically challenged, women and elderly.

Rather than having a flat shape, the coaches will be curvy in nature. Design experts of Alstom had come down from Paris for attending the meeting in Bengaluru. They presented four designs and the metro agency is learnt to have handpicked one of it. The Alstom officials once again gave their word on supplying the coaches by the end of the year, a KMRL official said.

What is in store

There will be special features for women

Pregnant women and elderly may get specially-designed seats

There will not be special ladies’ compartments

But, there may be areas for women in each coach

Features to help physically-challenged as well as visually challenged will be there

Low frequency beep sound generated from doors, ticket counters, special seats will help the visually challenged locate such areas

Seats for different category may be given separate colours

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