In the wake of the rape of a young woman in New Delhi by a cab driver, the Bangalore city police has decided to ask all cab services in the city to install CCTV cameras inside their vehicles to ensure the safety of passengers.
The police have also proposed renewal of a system of verification of the antecedents of drivers of all taxis and autorickshaws in the city.
The police on Monday wrote to the state transport department to direct taxi service providers to adopt safety measures, the additional commissioner of police (law and order) Alok Kumar said.
“We have informed taxi service providers that they will be held responsible for any untoward incidents involve their vehicles,” the additional commissioner said.
The police have also asked the state transport commissioner to convene a meeting with taxi service providers as soon as possible to address the issue of safety.
“We want taxi owners to install GPRS equipment and CCTV cameras inside the vehicle and to display identity details of the driver.
The antecedents of the driver must be verified,” deputy commissioner of police (traffic) B R Prasad said. There are more than 36,000 cabs of various operators plying in the city, he said.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Regional Transport Authority has stated that it is keeping a close tab on the operations of Uber Cab – the virtual taxi operator whose cab driver had been accused in the Delhi rape incident.
Uber has around 500 cars in its fleet in Bangalore. The recently launched taxi service is quite popular among IT employees in Bangalore on account of the Uber mobile app delivering a taxi within five to 10 minutes of a booking.
“For now we have not initiated any action, however we will be asking the company look at their driver profiles and to contact the RTA for verifications. In case of any untoward incident we will seize their permit and the driver’s licence,” state transport commissioner Dr. Rame Gowda said.
The RTA authorities said they were trying to ascertain if Uber has appropriate authorization to operate a taxi in the city in the first place.
In 2006, following the rape and murder of an employee of a BPO in Bangalore – by a cab driver sent by her company to pick her up for work at night – extensive safety policies were put in place for transporting women in taxis or buses.
Under the existing safety norms all corporate cabs need to have a security guard and a woman should not be alone in the cab at night. The norms are however not applicable to private taxi services that have boomed in the city.