Delhi launches pilot project for introducing Panic Buttons for women in buses
On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has launched a pilot project of the Panic Alarm System for state-run buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to ensure the safety of women passengers and to encourage them to use modes of public transport.
Speaking on the occasion, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “Panic alarms in buses will add the third line of defence to ensure women safety in Delhi buses. Our Government has already deployed bus marshalls in all DTC buses, and implemented CCTVs in 200 DTC buses on a pilot basis. By March 2019, we will be scaling up all these three initiatives to cover all DTC and cluster buses thereby guaranteeing a safe and harassment-free bus ride for Delhi’s women.”
The project has been implemented in collaboration with a Bangalore-based NGO, Project Durga, working in the area of women safety and gender equity in public spaces in India. All the bus crew members of the buses covered under the pilot project have been trained in operating and responding to the panic alarm system. The following protocol has been established:
Onboard announcements and LED display boards will announce that the bus is equipped with a panic alarm system, especially to address women safety-related issues in each bus, four panic buttons have been installed to cover the entire length. If any of the alarms is pressed, a loud beeping alarm will be activated for 40 seconds, during which time it cannot be deactivated. Upon hearing the alarm, the driver will take the bus to the left-most part of the road and bring it to stop. The conductor will be able to see exactly which location the alarm was pressed, and intervene in the situation. If the situation isn’t minor and cannot be addressed on the spot, the conductor will immediately call the Depot Manager, who will intimate a Police Control Room (PCR) van, if necessary.