Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Women travelling on the Delhi Metro trains will now have seats reserved for them in coaches. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation announced on Monday that a total of 16 seats in each train will be reserved for ladies, which means four reserved seats in each coach.

Stickers reading “For Ladies Only” have been put up inside the coaches to mark out the reserved seats.

“Each metro train has 186 seats. While the first and last coaches in each train have 43 seats, the other two coaches have 50 seats each. The decision to reserve seats was taken after women commuters made a request to Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit,” said a DMRC official.

Each metro coach already has four seats reserved for the elderly and the physically challenged and there are special spaces for wheelchairs in the coaches at both ends.

“Announcements are also made inside trains and at platforms requesting commuters to vacate seats for the elderly, physically challenged and ladies. Such announcements are made more frequently at Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate interchange stations which witness footfall in lakhs,” the official said.

The Delhi Metro had an average daily ridership of 702,731 in June 2008. According to estimates, 30 per cent of the commuters are women. At present, each metro train has four coaches which will be increased to six coaches in some sectors after Phase II becomes operational. The trains on the Delhi Metro have a capacity to accommodate eight coaches ultimately.

“The DMRC is in the process of procuring another 616 coaches for Phase II keeping in view the increasing rush of passengers and the popularity of the metro rail in Delhi,” an official pointed out.