Banglore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has made public transport safer for women by installing Panic buttons in their buses which can be used in case of an emergency.
The aim of the initiative is to safeguard women and children passengers against any sort of Physical harassment.
Named Durga, this alarm stands for -Dare to Understand Behaviour, Respond Appropriately and Guard Ourselves Ably.
An individual in trouble can alert the staff and passengers on the bus, By pressing the alarm button. Pictorial representations are displayed to help people with the correct use of raising an alarm. These pictures also help illiterate people to raise an alarm.
The sound of the alarm is loud enough for people even outside the bus to hear and can the switches are placed at a comfortable height. suitable even for children to reach.
As soon as the alarm is used, it beeps for 20 seconds and the driver is expected o stop the bus and check the issue with the user. After the passenger’s issue is resolved, they can turn off if the alarm is kept on it will beep after every 10 seconds.
There have been repeated instances in the city where women’s and senior citizens were victims of physical harassment and abuse in public transport and they were unable to seek immediate attention or resolution.
Pune365 spoke to several citizens and frequent bus travellers who applauded this initiative in Bangalore and recommended its implementation here.
PMPML spokesperson, Subhash Gaikwad said there was no immediate plan to install a similar alarm in their buses, but he would refer this to their Chief Engineer for possible consideration and action.
Majority of the people in the city are dependent on their private vehicles and cabs. Only a handful of our population opt for public transport which in anywise doesn’t function properly, says Neha Kokane, teacher.
Almost everyday, 10-12 buses breakdown in the city. What point is this alarm if the buses itself don’t function properly? The alarm is indeed a good initiative, but before that, the government should better their public transport, kokane added.
Durga alarms certainly need to be installed in the city buses, but the way it functions should be different from what has been done in Banglore, says Jagdish Mane.
First and foremost, PMPML busses should have GPS installed in them. These alarms should be linked to a police control room, so once the alarm is triggered immediate help can arrive for further assistance.
Mane further says, Am a daily traveller in the PMPML service and have often observed that in most of the scenarios, conductors and drivers do not cooperate with the passengers.
There have been frequent complaints of their behaviour and yet no action is taken against them. Also, they are not the right people to deal with physical harassment and other instances, Mane added.
Another irate passenger Hritu Sonawane says Installing alarms for women safety is fine, but the larger question here is how long will they work?
As a formality and part of the smart city plan, they may install these alarms, but am sure they’ll stop functioning within few days and no one will do anything about them,
Instead, they should deploy police personnel in buses after 8 pm, or the conductor and driver should be trained well to handle all untoward incidents, Hritu added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents ( some names changed on request) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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