Steps for women's safety in Delhi

New Delhi, Jan. 9: Buses without GPS will not be allowed to ply on Delhi roads starting next month, a special task force to make the city safe for women announced today.

The task force, headed by Union home secretary R.K Singh, was set up after the December 16 gang rape on a moving bus.

"Every DTC and cluster bus should have a CCTV/webcam and every member of the crew of a public transport vehicle must have a photo identity card latest by March 1, 2013, duly verified by Delhi police. If this direction is not complied with, Delhi police will not allow these vehicles to ply," a home ministry order said.

It was agreed that a centralised control room to track the buses should be functional by February 1.

The government also ordered that no school will hire a transport vehicle without police verification of the owner and crew. "The police verification thereof must be completed by February 1," it said.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the task force that includes officials from the Union and Delhi governments, police and municipal bodies.

"We directed that whenever a call is received, the nearest PCR vehicle must reach the spot. We also asked police to register an FIR on any complaint by women, failing which they will face suspension," said an official who attended the meeting.

"We decided to increase the number of helplines (Dial 100) lines from 60 to 100," the official said.

Another helpline, 1091, used for counselling women, will be converted into a distress helpline and the number of lines increased from 2 to at least 10. "It was decided that only women should be deputed to attend the calls on these lines," the official said.

An anti-obscene and an anti-stalking helpline were also reviewed.

"It was agreed that these helplines will under no circumstances ask the person in distress to call any other number or direct the person to any other forum and ensure that the co-ordination with any other forum is done by the helpline," the order said.