Let’s admit it. Delhiites are not exactly the best-behaved lot. Worried with the track record of the average Dilliwalla, the state government is now planning to bring about a new law that will enable special marshals to take on those who misbehave in public.
The government has proposed to introduce a new law, which will help tackle instances of misbehaviour or sexual harassment with women on Delhi streets, among other issues. Delhi chief minister and lieutenant governor are currently studying the proposal.
“The city will host the Commonwealth Games in 2010. And a safe, clean environment for everyone is as much a part of the experience as swank roads and stadiums. We would not want women visitors to feel threatened while walking around in the city,” said a senior government official.
The home department and Delhi Police will have to vet the plan before it is brought into force.
Officials say these marshals will also be able to record incidents where the police may be reluctant to register a case.
“These marshals will be in plainclothes because miscreants normally do not act up in front of men in uniform. They would be empowered to pull anybody found misbehaving with women or creating public nuisance like urinating on roads or littering,” the official said.
The idea is to draw up on different quarters of the society like police and government officials, non-governmental organisations and even local residents’ welfare associations and women’s bodies to bring the guilty to the book.
“We will also devise a plan to gather feedback from women residents in different parts of the city about how safe they feel in their area. In areas where the response is good, the station house officers can be rewarded, while in the other case, some correctional steps can be taken,” the official added.
The proposal also talks of involving partners in the media and other sources of information to spearhead an awareness campaign about good civic behaviour. “Beijing and Melbourne could pull it off because the city came together. You must feel proud to be a Delhiite,” the official said.