After a 16-year-old girl was allegedly molested on a cluster bus on Saturday, the Delhi government is planning to deploy jawans of home guards on all such buses as well.
The government had enhanced Delhi Transport Corporation's night bus service — from 42 to 89 buses — and deployed home guard jawans on them in the aftermath of the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on board a private bus. The government is also planning to put home guards or enforcement staff on duty onboard 4,700 DTC buses that ply between 2 pm and 11 pm — the rush hour.
An estimated 20 lakh passengers travel during this time and the move, the government believes, would deter anti-social elements from harassing women passengers in crowded buses.
Apart from the 5,500 state-run DTC buses, 400 buses run in five clusters of the Capital. While 45 lakh people use DTC buses, including 3,700 low-floor ones, every day, cluster buses cater to 4 lakh passengers daily.
Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami told HT on Monday, "I will hold a meeting with the four corporate entities who run these buses regarding deployment of home guard jawans on these buses."
"In each of these five clusters, DTC also runs 50 per cent of the buses to ensure prompt services and completion. Operators of cluster buses are paid on the basis of kilometres logged. The payment is subject to deductions in case of non-adherence to routes and service schedules, speed limits among other things," the minister said.
"Overall, there will be 17 clusters in Delhi and total number of such buses will be 5,500. We're starting four more clusters (6 to 9) soon. Additional land is required and we have taken up the matter with the DDA," he said.
The colour of cluster buses is orange. DTC runs two types of buses - green and red. Cluster buses operate between 5 am and 10.30 pm. The service ends at 11.30 pm.