Women will now have more seats in buses.
To make public transport “safe and secure” for women, the transport department has decided to reserve 25% seats for women in DTC, cluster, feeder and mini buses.
“There is serious concern about the safety of women in public transport. They avoid travelling by auto-rickshaws because of safety issues. They will now be able to travel safely even in crowded buses,” Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami said.
The new rule will come into effect from March 1.
The transport department has recently amended the permit conditions for public transit buses and reserved 25% of their capacity for women.
Officials said the reserved seats would have to be properly marked. They said it would now be the responsibility of the bus conductor to ensure that the seats are not occupied by men.
While the 35-seat, low-floor DTC buses currently have six seats reserved for women, the 42-seat standard floor cluster buses have eight.
Two seats each are reserved for senior citizens and the disabled. Metro feeder and mini buses have no reserved seats for women.
After the gang rape of a 23-year-old student of physiotherapy on a “contract-carriage” bus sparked public outrage, the transport department announced new permit conditions for public transport and contract buses. While most provisions remain same, more seats for women is the only change the department has made.
“The new permit conditions have been sent to all the agencies, including the DTC, DIMTS and private bus operators. We have given them a month to make the necessary changes in the buses. The new rule will be applicable from March 1,” said a senior Delhi government official.