The MP had arrived in Colombo leaving the Minister at Veyangoda as the minister was not allowed to get into the compartment.
Train compartments for women on the World Women's Day
Women only train service will be from today -
Minister Arjuna Ranatunga commended by all mothers
The train service dedicated for women started from today. The national ceremony of launching the service was held at the Veyangoda railway station this morning parallel to the World Women's Day celebrations under the patronage of Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga. Monitoring MP for the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Civil Aviation Hirunika Premachandra was also present at the occasion.
According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, over 50 percent of Sri Lanka Railway users during the office hours are women. The survey also revealed that regardless of age limits women were subjected to various mental and physical abuses in the trains. Transport Minister of the Civil Aviation, Arjuna Ranatunga said that steps have been taken to launch separate train compartments considering the situation of women.
"During our schooling, we had train compartments dedicated for women. Later, however, the service was lost. However, once again, many people have asked to have separate compartments for women. That is why we started this service today. Steps have been taken to deploy the Railway Security Officers in these compartments. But I emphasize one thing here. We are a nation that has a special respect for women. We call our Mother as the Buddha at home. We have a responsibility to protect women who give life to us. It is the responsibility and the need of the hour, " the Minister said.
The introduction of separate rail compartments for women is under several stages. The first step will be implemented with 7 office trains. Accordingly, the train “Sagarika” which leaves Matara at 5 am and leaves Fort Railway Station at 4.40 pm will be added dedicated compartments. In addition the train service starts at 4.20 am from Galle to Colombo and 05.20 pm from Colombo to Galle, Mahawa office train service starts at 4.45 am from Mahawa and departing Colombo to Mahawa at 06.00 pm will get special compartments for women.
The train leaving Bangadeniya at 4.30 am and leaving Colombo Fort at 05.14 pm and the train train coming from Rambukkan at 05.57 am and leaving Colmbo to Rambukkana at 05.57 pm will also have separate compatmenrts for women and same will be with the train leaving from Mirigama to Colombo at 05.25 am from Colombo to Meerigama at 05.25 pm.
The Department of Railways hopes to add railway compartments for other trains on the basis of future demands. The Minister said that the service is expected to be introduced to bus services too based on the success of the project. General Manager of Railway Department Dilantha Fernando along with distinguished guests were present at the occasion. Hirunika Premachandra, MP, who traveled on the train from Veyangoda to Colombo Fort exchanged pleasantries with the public.