Govt to Make CCTV, Panic Buttons in Buses Mandatory, Says Nitin Gadkari

The government will issue a notification on June 2 making it mandatory for buses to have emergency buttons.

Nitin Gadkari. Credit: PTI.

Nitin Gadkari. Credit: PTI.

New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced that the government will issue a notification on June 2 making it mandatory for all public transport buses to have emergency buttons, CCTV cameras and vehicle tracking devices to ensure the safety of women commuters.

Gadkari made the announcement as he launched a pilot project today under which the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation will run ten luxury and ten ordinary roadways buses equipped with emergency buttons and CCTV cameras.

“To ensure safety of women after the unfortunate Nirbhaya incident, we have decided to make it mandatory for public transport buses to install emergency panic buttons, CCTV cameras and GPS-enabled vehicle tracking devices,” Gadkari said. “We are looking at installation of panic buttons, CCTV cameras and other devices at the manufacturing stage itself.”

The ministry had issued these draft rules earlier this month under the Motor Vehicles Act and had sought comments from stakeholders including vehicle manufacturers.

Under the proposed notification, transport vehicles with a seating capacity of over 23 passengers will have CCTV cameras that will be connected to the global positioning system and will be monitored by the local police control room.

Gadkari said that in case of an untoward event a woman passenger would be able to press the emergency button which in turn will transfer the information to the nearest local police station through GPS.

Once the emergency signal is triggered, the CCTV cameras will start displaying live footage of the bus at the central control room. Besides, if a vehicle deviates from its prescribed route (which will be monitored through the GPS devices), the system will start sending signals tracking its movement to the control room.

A DNA report says that the initiative will be funded by the Ministry of Finance under the special ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ which was created in 2013 following the gangrape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh Pandey in a moving bus in New Delhi. The report says:

“In the first phase, 32 cities of 13 states in the country with a population of one million or more will be covered. Total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1404.68 crore which will be funded by Ministry of Finance from the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’.”

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that these measures will ensure the safety of women.

(with inputs from PTI)