Stepping up measures for women's safety across the nation, the government on Friday approved a Rs. 1,405-crore project to track and monitor public transport and provide alarm buttons for alerting authorities.
The project involves setting up of closed circuit television (CCTVs) and using global positioning system (GPS) to ensure safety and security of women and girls in distress.
In the first project to be approved since setting up of the Nirbhaya Fund for women safety, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the safety measures for 53 cities with more than a million in population.
"The CCEA has approved setting up of a unified system at the national level (National Vehicle Security and Tracking System) and State level (City Command and Control Centre) for GPS tracking of location of emergency buttons in and video recording of incidents in public transport vehicles," finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.
The project will be implemented within a period of two years after allocation of funds to set up a National Level Vehicle Security and Tracking System and City Command and Control Centre with installation of GPS/CCTV/Panic buttons in public road transport, he said.
The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1,405 crore and the scheme will be implemented in 32 cities in the first phase, followed by 21 cities in the second phase.
Chidambaram said the project will help in "providing safety and security to women/girl child in distress in minimum response time" through mapping of routes of public vehicles, their tracking, detecting violations through visual and text signals, panic button alert to transport and police.
The project was formulated in the wake of the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case. The 23-year old paramedic was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Chidambaram said the proposal by road transport and highways ministry was one of the three based on the recommendations of justice JS Verma Committee and the Justice Usha Mehra, Commission of Enquiry.