In an attempt to make travelling safer for women, the Madhya Pradesh transport commissioner has directed that if a woman is molested or harassed in any way inside a vehicle, the licence /permit of the vehicle owner/driver be suspended or cancelled.
The commissioner has directed the regional transport authority to take a police clearance report before issuing commercial licence to anyone.
The regional transport office (RTO) has been asked to coordinate closely with the police to implement these directions.
In a letter dated April 13, 2015 (a copy of which is in HT’s possession), the state transport commissioner had directed all the regional transport authorities to suspend permits and licences of persons accused of committing crimes against women inside a vehicle.
The RTO has been asked to coordinate with the police and act immediately when they receive information about the errant driver.
The direction by the transport commissioner follows a letter by the state chief secretary to the additional chief secretary of the state home department and the director general of police calling for action against those who harassed women while travelling.
A number of other directions have also been given in this letter, some of which had been issued from time to time by the transport department.
These include reserving seats 11 to 16 for women in all buses, removing all black films from windows, directing bus drivers and conductors to wear uniforms bearing name plates and uploading their mobile numbers on the transport department's website.
Moreover, the vehicles have been directed to display their registration number and the police helpline number 1091.