Sending out a strong message against ill-treatment of women passengers, the Brihan-mumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking suspended a bus conductor recently for speaking rudely to a female passenger and insisting on her shifting to a seat reserved for women.
The administration has also instructed its staff, including drivers and conductors, to be polite to female passengers. They have also been directed to only request female passengers to occupy rese-rved seats when they are vacant and not force them to do so.
In January, a female passenger had complained against a conductor employed on bus service number 422 between Mulund to Andheri, for speaking rudely to her for occupying a general seat despite seats reserved for women lying vacant, and directing her to shift immediately.
The BEST ordered a departmental inquiry, following which the conductor was suspended. “All our conductors are instructed to request female passengers to occupy seats reserved for them and not force them to do so,” said Virendra Bagul, BEST public relations officer (PRO).
On the other hand, the undertaking said they have also been receiving complaints from male passengers about women commuters occupying general seats while leaving reserved ones vac-ant. “Complaints from male passengers about having to travel without a seat have increased. They say female passengers occupy both general seats and those reserved for them. We request female passengers to occupy the reserved seats whenever they are available,” said Bagul.