Mumbai: Rise in cases of sexual harassment at BMC

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2015 19:55 IST

Cases of sexual harassment have risen in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2014 as compared to the past three years, stated a report tabled in the Maharashtra legislature on Friday.

There were 53 cases between 2010 and 2013, which increased to 32 in 2014, according to the report by the 15-member legislative committee on rights and welfare of women.

The committee has also stated that 80% of the cases last year were resolved with strict action initiated against the accused. It has also directed the heads of the 71 sexual harassment grievances redressal committees in the civic body to safeguard the interest of the victims.

The committee has also recommended setting up restrooms for women, known as Mahila Aadhaar Kendra, for elderly women in each of the BMC wards. Five wards have such kendras till now. The committee has directed the civic body to submit the status reports on the recommendations in two months.

The report also points at the inadequate number of the public toilets for women in the city. The civic body apprised the committee about the changes in the government policy prohibiting the corporators from using their development funds for construction of toilets and setting up temporary toilets in slums. The urban development department, however, told the committee that the state government has sought permission from the Centre to abolish the clause that requires the no-objection certificate from the land-owning authority for the toilets.

The committee has also stated in its report that the civic body has not complied with the mandatory reservation of 30% to women in recruitment as 3,804 positions reserved for women are vacant. It has recommended adequate awareness about the recruitments.

BJP’s Dahisar MLA Manisha Chaudhary, head of the legislative committee, said, “We have been pursuing the important issues, recommended in the report, with the BMC. The issues of the public toilets for the women, recruitment of the women in jobs, regular medical check-ups for women will be taken up.”

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