WOMEN COMMUTING in Panchkula can now check how safe or unsafe the route they are travelling on is — with a touch on a pin on a mobile application, MySafetiPin. Each of the 15,000 pins marked on various roads in the city tells the safety of that stretch and its ranking on nine parameters.
Different locations in the city — a total of 335 km, including 110 km main roads and remaining internal lanes — were audited on nine parameters: light (night), openness, visibility, walk path, security, public transport, crowd (if the route has people around), gender diversity and feeling. Using these parameters, a safety score is generated for each location. Once, one clicks on the pin at the location, one will get to know if it is safe to travel on that route.
A woman can even get to know the safest route which she should opt for after clicking on the “safest route” option.
The Panchkula Municipal Corporation in collaboration with an NGO, SafetiPin, initiated “Safety Audit” in which about 35 volunteers and two vehicles were used to carry out the survey on each of the roads — main and internal lanes as well. The audit was carried out for four months daily from 7 am to 11 pm in the city.
While on the main roads, vehicle-based audit was carried out after dash cameras were installed which recorded and took pictures of the lane to know whether lighting was there, lane was deserted, any security was there or footpath was proper, women volunteers carried out the safety audit in internal lanes and other places to know if they felt “comfortable or uncomfortable” on that stretch. As many as 52 bus stops, lanes outside coaching centres, markets were also covered, which are used by women to walk to the residential belt.
The audit marked some of the routes — near Sector 5 police station, Maheshpur road, sector 4, 11, Budanpur, Sector 3 road, Sector 6, Mansa Devi Complex — “uncomfortable and deserted” with no proper lighting. After data with pictures has been submitted on each location, feedback from women has been invited on the same locations.
A stretch leading to Sector 5 police station with ranking 3.3 out of 9 reveals that although the walk path is good, light (during night) is little, area is deserted and no public transport is seen. Similarly, a stretch in Sector 6 which scores 3 out of 9 revealed that although light is insufficient and the route is open, there are only few people around with “none security” and any kind of public transport is unavailable, thereby giving the “uncomfortable” feeling.
The Maheshpur road ranked 2.7 out of 9 as the light was marked as “none”, lane was “deserted”, security was “none” and feeling was “uncomfortable”, public transport was “distant”, though walk path was “good”.
The southern belt, trans-Ghaggar was ranked with the poorest score which shows it isn’t safe for women to walk down the lane in this belt which is deserted and security is less.
Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation Rajesh Jogpal said that the safety of women and children is of prime importance and that was the reason they initiated this project.
“Through this safety audit, we wanted to know where all work requires to be done. The work which is to be done at MC’s end will be done by us while other issues of public transport or security which are required to be addressed, will be conveyed to the departments concerned. For example, if the street is dark, we will ensure proper lighting. Many streets were found deserted. We are also seeking public opinion on each of the location so that we can make the city safe for women,” he told Chandigarh Newsline.
Kalpana, the co-founder of the group, stated that they had carried out this women safety project in Indonesia, Phillipines, Africa, Kenya and other countries apart from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in collaboration with respective governments.
The app can be downloaded free of cost from Google Playstore.
Another official of the civic body said, “Women can even enter their current location and the destination they wish to visit, to know which can be the safest route to reach there. This will help them in avoiding the routes which have been found unsafe for women.