Woman activists decry move to let commuters carry alcohol on Delhi metro

Though passengers are now allowed to carry two sealed bottles of alcohol each, drinking of alcohol in metro premises is still prohibited.

Published: 01st July 2023 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2023 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  With the Delhi Metro allowing passengers to carry two sealed bottles of alcohol each, women activists on Friday said the decision would frustrate women safety measures and demanded its rollback even as the police assured that there would be strick vigil and action against anyone creating “nuisance”.  

A senior officer of CISF, tasked with metro security, said the decision was taken to bring uniformity in rules across the metro network. He said that having separate rules for the Airport Express Line and other routes “was not desirable”.

Carrying of alcohol was banned in the Delhi Metro till recently except on the Airport Express Line, DMRC said. Though passengers are now allowed to carry two sealed bottles of alcohol each, drinking of alcohol in metro premises is still prohibited, officials said.

G Ram Gopal Naik, DCP (Metro) said, “We have certain provisions in the DMRC Act according to which we can impose a fine of Rs 200 is a passenger creates any nuisance. If a person is found drinking at a public place, we can book him or her under the Excise Act and the IPC.”     

Activist Annie Raja, however, said it will be difficult to ensure that people do not drink inside the metro premises and demanded that the decision be rolled back.  “This violates all the safety and security measures for women. It is difficult to ensure that people will not open the bottles inside the metro. Women do not necessarily travel only in women’s coaches. They also travel in other coaches too. This should be withdrawn by the authorities,” she said.

Akancha Srivastava, a women rights activist and cyber safety expert, called the move “strange” and she was “not in favour” of it. “They are trying to compare this particular guideline to that of airport authorities. And the two are completely different. The number of passengers are very different in an aircraft and in an aircraft it is easier to control too. I think this is a really strange move and there are bound to be incidents, there are bound to be violation of it and there are bound to be accidents,” she said.

“It’s also inflammable that needs to be kept in mind too. I don’t see a reason or what the motivation was to even allow this. I am not in favour of it at all, ” Srivastava, founder of Akancha Against Harassment initiative, said. According to the Delhi Metro authorities, a committee comprising officials from the CISF and the DMRC reviewed the list of items allowed to be carried in trains. 

Metro passengers are requested to maintain proper decorum while travelling, the DMRC said. In case any passenger is found behaving in an indecent manner under the influence of alcohol, suitable action will be taken against him or her under the relevant provisions of law, officials said. 

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