Centre sanctions Rs 84 crore to make UP buses safe for women
The initiative will be funded from Rs 83.40 crore Nirbhaya Fund sanctioned by the Centre. Aimed at supporting initiatives for safety of women, the then UPA government had announced the funds with a corpus of Rs 3,000 crore in 2013, following a nationwide outrage over December 12 gang rape in a moving bus in Delhi.lucknow Updated: Jul 24, 2017 14:00 IST
Launching a fully secure women-exclusive pink AC buses, installing CCTVs and panic buttons in all its buses and creating an all-women body equipped with hi-tech interceptors to help any distressed woman passenger are some of the major activities that the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is going to begin very soon.
The initiative will be funded from Rs 83.40 crore Nirbhaya Fund sanctioned by the Centre on Friday.
Aimed at supporting initiatives for safety of women, the then UPA government had announced the funds with a corpus of Rs 3,000 crore in 2013, following a nationwide outrage over December 12 gang rape in a moving bus in Delhi.
However, it is for the first time that it has been released now.
“UP also becomes the country’s first state to get passenger safety schemes approved under the Nirbhaya Fund,” UPSRTC general manager Vineet Seth claimed.
As per the UPSRTC’s detailed project report (DPR) against which the Centre has sanctioned the grant, the state-owned transport corporation will take up the following initiatives to promote safety of women passengers in its buses.
The corporation will operate 50 pink air-conditioned buses exclusively for women in various districts. To be UBS-2 complaint, all such GPS-connected buses will also have all necessary safety devices like CCTVs and panic buttons.
A male may be allowed to accompany a female passenger in these buses provided the ticket is booked for him by the woman passenger and he has valid ID with him. Private security guards one each will travel in all such buses that will have female conductors only. The Centre has sanctioned a grant of Rs 22.50 crore for pink buses.
A grant of Rs 47.50 crore has been sanctioned for installation of CCTV/DVR and 10 panic buttons one each in all the rows in all its 12,500 buses that are already connected to the GPS. The panic buttons and CCTVs will be connected to regional and central control rooms as well as the mobile interceptors.
The UPSRTC has also proposed to form an all-women organisation for 24X7 enforcement on and monitoring of buses with an objective of instilling a sense of confidence in women travellers and reach them within minimum possible time when there is a complaints of their being molested, raped etc. For this they will be given 24 hi-tech interceptors one each for all the 24 regions of the UPSRTC.
The all-women body will also run crèches where the group members can drop their children in the morning and pick them up in the evening after their duty is over. The corporation will get a grant of Rs 8.40 crore for the creation of AdiShakti group and purchase of interceptors— the high-powered SUVs as well as establishing AC waiting rooms for women passengers at all originating stations of pink buses.
The corporation will get Rs 5 crore grant to spent over advertisement, advocacy and awareness campaign to inform women passenger about the new initiatives for their safety in buses.
Sources said the UPSRTC had been trying to get its pie under the Nirbhaya Fund since 2015 when it had sent a proposal for installing a CCTVs and panic buttons in its buses.
“This was after transport minister, Swatantra Dev Singh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 9 and briefed him about the project followed by chief minister, Yogi Adityanath’s meeting with Union transport and national highways minister, Nitin Gadkari on June 12 in Delhi that UPSRTC was asked to submit a comprehensive DPR to the ministry of women and child development.
“Our presentation on the DPR on July 7 drew a lot of praise and other states were advised to take a cue from UP,” said Seth.
He said it might take two-three months for the Centre to release the funds. “Our time-line will start after we get the funds but in the meantime we will start making basic preparations for the rollout of the projects,” he said. However, similar schemes for private vehicles like buses, autos and tempos are yet to be formulated and approved.