Amritsar: Inefficient transport system adds to womens' woes.
The Delhi gangrape of December 16, 2012, brings back horrific memories to the mind.The gruesome act committed a moving bus in south-Delhi scarred the nation's psyche, exposing the inadequacies in security arrangements for women.Updated: Nov 24, 2013 01:31 IST
The Delhi gangrape of December 16, 2012, brings back horrific memories to the mind.
The gruesome act committed a moving bus in south-Delhi scarred the nation's psyche, exposing the inadequacies in security arrangements for women.
A similar incident took place in Amritsar in March wherein a 20-year-old girl was gangraped by four persons in a moving car. The victim was returning from work at night when the miscreants struck.
Many such incidents, besides those of eve-teasing and molestation often occur in unregulated means of transport.
At present, the public transport system in the city is grossly inadequate and inefficient.
This underlines the need of a consistent and safe mode of transport, both for tourists and local residents.
Though proposals to launch a synchronised system of transport have been made in the past, these have failed to see the light of the day with the authorities concerned failing to implement them.
Some of the ambitious proposals that could not be formulated include the city bus service, pods project and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
The city also lacks an effective taxi system for ferrying tourists from the railway station, though one exists at the Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport.
This leaves passengers and tourists travelling by train with no option but to hire rickshaws and auto-rickshaws.
The security of women passengers is also jeopardized due to rising incidents of chain and bag snatchings, besides sexual assault.
With the city lacking an effective public transport system, women passengers travel through shared rickshaws and auto-rickshaws.
"The concept of shared autos has worsened matters. Sometimes, men and women passengers are crammed into autos, often leading to incidents of eve-teasing and molestation," said Brij Bedi, a social worker.
He said the authorities concerned needed to fix the number of passengers per auto.
ADCP (traffic) Baljit Singh Randhawa, said, "The traffic police are making efforts to make public transport safe for women."
"We ensure that auto-rickshaws are not overloaded with passengers. Those violating rules are challaned," he added.
Meanwhile, district transport officer Angrez Singh told Hindustan Times, "Women's safety is of utmost importance. Though we conduct drives to check overloading of auto-rickshaws, it is not possible to check every auto in town. Women should avoid boarding overloaded auto-rickshaws."
How safe are public places and public transport in our city? What steps are needed to ensure safety of women in such places?
"Anybody who says that only secluded areas of the city are unsafe for women is wrong. Incidents of chain snatching, eve teasing and harassment are reported from public places, in buses and trains. People act as mute spectators. We need to change our mindset and respect women." Mansi Arora (19), student
"It is an arduous task for a woman to travel alone in buses or trains due to the fear of harassment. Men pass derogatory comments to women at public places. Police officials have turned a blind eye to the problems of women. They need to play an active role. This will ensure safety of women. Inderjit Kaur (20), hotel receptionist
"If public places and transport are unsafe even today, it reflects the society's mindset. Women fear venturing out alone. Despite being educated, they don't feel free in this so-called modern and civilised society. People need to change their mindset. Antarpreet Kaur (31), college professor
"Women are subjected to various forms of harassment daily. Men pass lewd comments in public places or at secluded spots. Almost every woman has been harassed at some point in her life. The police are also inefficient. They need to pull up their socks and ensure safety to women. Sudesh Rani (55), housewife
"A man used to regularly stalk me at the Amritsar railway station. He used to pass snide remarks. I found this offensive and confronted him. He did not stalk me again. Public places are not safe. Women need to raise their voice. We should not remain dependent on the police or the administration for help. We need to save ourselves. Simi Sahota (19), student
"The recent molestation of a young Danish woman tourist by an auto-rickshaw driver outside the railway station is a shameful act. It speaks volumes about the safety of women in the city. It also shows that public places are unsafe. When will the local police and administration wake up? Mansi Bajaj, (25) sales manager
"The city lacks an effective public transport system. Women, particularly foreign tourists, carry a bad image of the city. Incidents of eve-teasing have increased manifold. The police need to punish the culprits. Women also need to raise their voice and become more alert. Jatinder Randhawa (35), school teacher
"It is distressing when men pass lewd comments on roads in the presence of police personnel. It seems they don't fear the police. The police are also careless in apprehending such miscreants. If the police act responsibly, such activities will stop. Women should not remain quiet. They need to report such incidents to the police and media. Mehak Sachdeva (24) owner of a marketing firm.
First Published: Nov 24, 2013 00:21 IST