NEW DELHI: In the coming months, buses across the country will be fitted with panic buttons, CCTVs and GPS — an effort to make public transport safer for women in the wake of rising crime and violence against them.
It follows the government’s decision last month to make it mandatory for all mobile phones sold in India from 2017 to come with a panic button that can be activated by pressing a single key.
“We issued a draft notification on May 2 to amend the central motor vehicle rules, making the installation of safety devices (on buses) mandatory. We hope to finalise the notification by June,” road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said Wednesday, flagging off the first 20 buses — of the Rajasthan state transport fleet — as a pilot project.
Thedeviceswillbeinstalledinall buses with a capacity of 23 passengers. Those with less will get panic buttons and GPS but no CCTVs.
A panic button will be placed in front of each seat. “If a woman in distress presses it, a signal will go to a centralised control room and help will be sent,” said a road ministry official.