NEW DELHI: On the eve of International Women's Day, the Delhi government on Wednesday launched a pilot project of the Panic Alarm System in its buses to further ensure safety of women passengers and to encourage them to use public transport.
Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that panic alarms in buses will add the third line of defense to ensure women's 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," said Gahlot.
The pilot project for Panic Alarm System has been launched in five cluster buses of Rajghat-2 depot and plying on route 522.
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 crew (drivers and conductors) of the buses covered under pilot project of Panic Alarm System have been trained in operating and responding to the panic alarm system," said official of the Dehli Transport Corporation (DTC).
On-board 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 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 is not minor and cannot be addressed on the spot, the conductor will immediately call the Depot Manager, who will intimate PCR van, if necessary.
The panic alarm system will also be integrated with the bus GPS location, so that every time the alarm is pressed, the Depot Manager and Central Command Centre of cluster bus operations at DIMTS Kashmere Gate get an immediate alert.