Navi Mumbai may get 10 women-only buses from March 8 | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Navi Mumbai may get 10 women-only buses from March 8

The NMMT purchased 10 buses, each costing Rs25 lakh, from the Rs2.5 crore it received from the state

mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2018 13:22 IST
Tasneem Kausar
10 buses to be introduced in a month, to have all-women staff
10 buses to be introduced in a month, to have all-women staff(Pic for representation)

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is gearing up to begin service of Tejaswini buses driven by women for women commuters soon. Ten mini buses will be delivered to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) in a month. The NMMC is planning to introduce the service as a gift to women, to mark the International Women’s Day, which is observed on March 8.

While state transport has recruited women drivers and conductors, no other local government’s transport body in Maharashtra has recruited them so far. The Tejaswini scheme will, however, make it possible in Navi Mumbai and other regions of the state. It will provide women with employment opportunities.

Municipal commissioner Ramaswamy N said, “The state government has under the Tejaswini scheme given a grant of Rs2.5 crore to the NMMC for purchase of special buses for women. The NMMT has purchased 10 buses, each costing Rs25 lakh, from the grant received.”

He added, “The buses will have a capacity to carry 30 women passengers. While only women will be allowed to travel in them, the drivers and conductors of the buses too will be women. The buses will provide a safe and comfortable journey to women commuters.”

The tender has been awarded to Tata Motors, which bid the lowest to supply the buses.

Around 2.25 lakh commuters travel by NMMT buses every day. These include a large number of working women, school and college girls. There have been several instances of altercations between the women passengers and male drivers and conductors over change and also due to the crowding in the buses. There have been complaints to the administration by women passengers about the attitude of the drivers and conductors and also conduct of some male passengers.

It is expected that introduction of ladies special buses will ensure there will not be any eve teasing complaints and will curb harassment of women passengers.

Along with providing services in Navi Mumbai, NMMT buses also ply to Mumbai, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Mira Bhayender, Panvel and Uran. The NMMT currently has around 400 buses.

The 10 new buses will be run as ladies special on the lines of ladies special trains. It will provide job opportunities to women drivers and conductors. The social welfare department of the NMMC has decided to give preference in jobs to women in need and those from economically weaker sections.