Majority of the city areas flagged as vulnerable for women continue to remain so even seven months after a safety audit.
The audit conducted by the Centre for Gender, Development and Ecology in Kochi had identified areas like Kisan Colony, KSRTC bus stand, South Railway Station, Karikkamuri, Kaloor-Palarivattom-Edappally, level-crossing and area near Amrita Hospital, Ponekkara and Manassery-Chellanam road as critically unsafe for women.
Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra, Kochi, admitted that nothing could be done in areas like Thoppumpady, Palarivattom, Kisan Colony and near Amrita Hospital for improving the situation.
The area connecting Valanjambalam to Sahodaran Ayyappan road plunges into darkness after sunset. It is also the case with the junction at the road in the Edapally-Palarivattom segment. The construction activities related to Kochi Metro Rail at near Bus Stand stalled improvement schemes. “Once the Salim Rajan Rail Overbridge is complete, the area will be lit up and more facilities will be introduced,” she said.
However, Ms. Bhadra said the corporation had attempted to improve the safety situation in a few areas, including the South Railway Station and Karikkamuri.
Improved street lighting system is in place at Karikkamuri and the main entrance of South Railway station, which is used by a large number of women. High-mast lamps have been installed here. The work of another one would begin shortly at Iyyattu Mukku, she said.
An earlier proposal to establish feeding centres for lactating mothers and rest room for women coming to the city could not be implemented for want of space. Land could not be made available in the city for such projects.
M.P. Maheshkumar, the councillor representing the areas near Amrita Hospital in Kochi corporation council, suggested improved police presence in the area for imparting a sense of security for women. Areas near the railway level-cross need improved surveillance. Though the areas near the hospital had been lit up, policing should be stepped up.
Upgradation of the Cheranalloor Police Station to a Circle Inspector’s Office would serve the purpose, he said.