Wednesday, February 13, 2019

PMPML mulling for panic buttons on buses for women


PUNE: The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) said they were holding talks with smart city officials and police to install panic buttons on women’s buses.

“There are 33 all-women buses with the PMPML, and by the end of March, a total of 66 Tejaswini buses will be operating. Though we intend to have panic buttons in all our buses, all-women buses are a priority. We are in the midst of discussions with the authorities,” a PMPML official said.

Recently Tata Motors provided six Tejaswini buses to the PMPML. Tata Motors officials have said that by April-end, 27 more buses meant only for women will be provided. “About the panic buttons, we need to develop a proper system in which, once the button is pressed, the message reaches the competent authorities,” the official said.

The state government has already missed a couple of deadlines on the plan of installing panic buttons and GPS trackers. Earlier, officials at the Pune regional transport office had said that it wouold be the responsibility of the manufacturers of devices like panic buttons and vehicle tracking systems to set up a back-end office so that distress signals can be tracked and acted upon.

“It is understandable that the state government still doesn’t have a proper system for this. But we feel that something can be worked out with the Smart Cities and the Pune police for Tejaswini buses and thereafter, the other PMPML buses,” another official said. Sapna Patil, a commuter, said while more all-women buses were a welcome development, the state government needs to act fast. “How come they are delaying such an important decision? How can those manufacturing the system track us and help us?” she said.


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