In a move aimed at preventing repeat of incidents like the December 16 case wherein a young woman was fatally gang raped in a moving bus without anyone outside suspecting what was going on in the vehicle, the public transport in the state’s seven big cities may soon be fitted with the GPS devices to track them down easily when needed.
The money from the Rs. 1,000 crore ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ announced by the Central government in its 2013 budget will be used to support this initiative to promote dignity and ensure safety of women commuters.
Asked by the centre, the transport department here has already started conducting a primary exercise, collecting data on numbers of public transport vehicles like buses, autos and tempos in the big cities and the expenditure expected to come on setting up fully IT-equipped monitoring cells to have a watch on the GPS- fitted vehicles.
Sources said the centre had recently sent a letter to the state government, asking it to send a proposal requesting the funds for setting up the cells with the main server to monitor the movement of public transport vehicles that would be asked to necessarily fit GPS units and alert the police whenever a woman commuter was subjected to an assault.
“We are consulting certain agencies to know as to how much funds may be required for the launch of the new project. Once we get the feedback, we will send the proposal to the central government demanding funds accordingly,” a senior official told the HT.
The centre has also asked the state government to send the names of cities with the population above 10 lakh because the centre wants to fund project only in big cities where more women commute for education or work or to have access to services or leisure and hence often fall victims to violence.
“In UP there are seven towns — Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Agra, Meerut and Ghaziabad — that have a population of more than 10 lakh and we will soon send a list of these towns along with the population of public transport vehicles in each of these cities, to the centre,” disclosed the official.