It will soon be mandatory for public transport buses to install emergency buttons, CCTV cameras and vehicle tracking devices to ensure the safety of women commuters, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said Wednesday. He added that the government will issue a notification on June 2, laying down the safety measures to be installed in public transport buses across the country.
“To ensure safety of women after the unfortunate Nirbhaya incident, we have decided to make it mandatory for public transport buses to install emergency panic buttons, CCTV cameras and GPS-enabled vehicle tracking devices,” Gadkari said.
The statement came at an event at Bikaner House in Delhi where Gadkari launched 20 such Rajasthan government buses. The 20 Mahila Gaurav Express buses that would run between Delhi and Rajasthan are part of a pilot project. The Rajasthan government plans to eventually bring over 2,300 more buses under the project’s ambit.
Besides Gadkari, Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi and Rajasthan transport minister Yunus Khan were present at the launch event.
With half the funds for the project coming from the Centre, the first phase of Mahila Gaurav Express project will cover 2,382 buses while the second phase will cover all 4,500 buses of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation.
The panic button, when pressed, will send a signal to the Depot Chief Manager’s phone at Jaipur Control room with the coordinates of the vehicle and live video feed and also alert the nearest police control room.
The panic button is also connected to the government’s women’s helpline number. The camera would record trips and the footage will be stored for five years to facilitate investigation. Also, if a vehicle deviates from the scheduled route, the control room will receive its location, enabling it to track it, an official said.
Gadkari said the project will receive assistance from the Nirbhaya Fund.