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DTC buses far from safe haven for Delhi's women

NEW DELHI: Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) seems to have not learnt any lesson from the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape, as its buses are still not equipped with special measures, such as CCTV cameras, to ensure safety of women.
According to DTC officials, women ridership of DTC buses has gone down by over 50 per cent and women bus passengers after the evening are a rare sight.
"I do not travel in DTC buses in the evening because it is really unsafe. The conductors also do not communicate with women and allow men to seat on women's seats," said Smriti Jain, a 21-year-old student who travels to her college in North Campus from Mayur Vihar Phase-I by DTC buses, but does not use the bus to return home.
Not just Jain, but women from many walks of life have similar complaints.
In 2015, in order to ensure the safety of women in public transport, the Delhi government had decided to hire 200 private security guards to be deployed as marshals in DTC buses.
DTC had planned to float tenders soon to choose a security agency, a month after which 200 private security guards were to be deployed as marshals in the first phase.
The government also planned to equip these marshals with walkie-talkies.
However, when asked about the progress of this plan, senior DTC officials gave no satisfactory response.
"Women security is our priority. But due to many complications and limitations, we could not achieve all the plans," said an official.
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government had even decided to invite tenders for CCTV cameras to be installed in all 3,800 DTC buses.
The Corporation planned to issue the tender for more than 12,000 cameras costing over Rs 100 crore next week.
Installation of CCTV cameras in DTC buses was one of AAP's poll planks in its 70-point election manifesto during the 2015 Delhi Assembly election.
However, according to sources, there has not been any progress in this plan. When asked about the plan to install camera in buses, DTC staffers claimed they had no idea about such as plan.
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