PUNE: After waiting for nearly two months, Central Railway has made a decision to run the four rakes of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) on Solapur route during the night. Considering the frequency of dacoities and robberies, daily passengers on this route have raised concern about their security and safety.
The passengers’ association has raised a concern regarding the design of windows, which according to them are so broad, that a person can enter through them.
Pune-Solapur route is infamous for assaults, dacoity and robberies at night.
“There are some structural differences between DEMU and conventional coaches. Since DEMU is supposed to operate like a local service, the doors are bigger, the windows broader and they don’t have grills. The windows are so big that people can enter and exit the train with ease using them,” said Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group.
“Given this, it’s certainly a matter of worry securing DEMU trains passing from Daund-Kurduwadi area, which is infamous for attacks by dacoits,” she added.
Shah said the fear of dacoits is so prevalent in that section, that whenever the trains pass through this area after sunset, the passengers are advised to keep doors and windows locked.
Three rakes each consisting of 10 coaches will replace the conventional rakes that ply as Pune-Solapur-Pune passengers services twice a day.
DEMU service 51449 will start from Pune at 8.15 am and reach Solapur at 3.30 pm. The Solapur-Pune service (51449) will start at 11 pm and reach Pune Station the next morning at 6.35 am.
Similarly, DEMU service Solapur-Pune will at (51456) 11.40 am and reach Pune at 8.15 pm. Train (51455) Pune-Solapur will start at 10.50 pm and reach Solapur at 8.05 am.
Of the four train services, two (41450 and 51455) will cover most of the distance at night time.
A senior officer with Government Railway Police (GRP) said the Railway Protection Force (RPF) will have to be more vigilant on the route. “They will have to deploy more staff and remain more vigilant,” a senior GRP officer said.
When contacted, Divisional Security Commissioner (RPF, Pune) said, “We will be more cautious so that such incidents don’t happen.”