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New DTC buses to have mandatory GPS trackers

NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure safety of the women, the Delhi Transport department has planned to record and track all the rides of the DTC buses. The newly ordered 1,000 buses will have GPS system which will be tracked directly by the DTC authorities. "The new buses will have a mandatory GPS system to track its movements. We will also put GPS system on the remaining old buses to track them," said an official. Earlier, the Transport department had claimed that autos will also be monitored but the initiative could not work out.
"The government has set up some mandatory criteria for the new buses focused on the women safety issue. These include mandatory GPS tracker and CCTV," said the official. As per latest available DTC statistics, about 30 lakh passengers are carried daily, of which a mere 14 lakh (45 per cent) are ticketed. The rest (16 lakh) use passes, it noted. The DTC official noted that in 2012, DTC had nearly 6,200 buses. Now, it has only 3,944 buses.
"With the decrease of the ridership in the recent years, we have also witnessed a steep decline in the number of women riders. We think that women are not considering buses secure in the city," said the official. A study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) showed that DTC's daily average ridership declined by over 35 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016. From 47 lakh in 2012-13, it dropped to 30 lakh by the end of 2016, the CSE report said.
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. 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. The officials said that as both the earlier plans did not work out well, the DTC planned to buy buses with inbuilt GPS and CCTV cameras.

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