If taking the bus at odd hours brings you fears of being alone and vulnerable, you can now breathe easy. Soon, even if you are the only one passenger riding a public transport vehicle back home, you will have a CCTV camera watching over you and an emergency button handy in case of an emergency.
In an ambitious plan to make public transport safer for women, the Union ministry of road transport and highways has identified seven cities of UP, including Lucknow, where public transport vehicles will be monitored through a centralized control room integrated with police control room.
The states will be provided with software and hardware by the Union ministry to get the system rolling. Sources in state transport department said that Rs 1,000 crore for Nirbahaya fund to support programmes for women security, advocacy and awareness will speed up implementation. The Centre had planned the move post-Nirbhaya incident in 2012.
Seven cities of UP— Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Agra will be covered under the first phase of the plan. The centralized control rooms, under the transport department, will be set up separately in all the cities and connected to PCRs.
Public transport vehicles with 23 seats and less will have GPS and emergency button while bigger vehicles, like roadways and city buses, will also have CCTVs in addition. Sources said considering that January 31 deadline of putting the system in place in UP has been crossed, the funds will provide the much-needed push.
It is when vehicles are brought for a fitness test to regional transport offices (RTOs) that they will also be checked for security features. Vehicles flouting norms will not be issued fitness certificates and their registration will be cancelled.