The central government today accepted the measures, recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, concerning safety of women commuters availing cab services. In the Taxi Policy Guidelines, as per the recommendation, the government made GPS panic button mandatory for all the cabs plying on the road. Similarly, it disallowed central locking system in the vehicles.
These measures have been recommended by the WCD Minister, Maneka Gandhi to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping. The recommendations come in the background of numerous cases of sexual harassment of women in cabs being reported to Gandhi on social media after women took to Twitter and Facebook to flag their ordeal.
Following this, the Gandhi held a meeting with radio cab service providers to find a solution to the grave and rising problem. Based on this, WCD Minister wrote to Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping to incorporate the necessary safety measures in the regulatory guidelines being prepared by MoRTH.
1) The taxis should be mandatorily fitted with GPS panic devices.
2) For the safety of women and child passengers, the central locking system in the taxis should not be allowed.
3) The driver's identification along with the photo and registration number of the vehicle should also be prominently displayed in the taxi.
4) Violation of the stipulated rules by the taxi operators/drivers should be strictly dealt in accordance with law.
5) Sharing of seat should be subject to willingness of passengers.
Maneka Gandhi has launched a hashtag, #HelpMeWCD, where any woman or child facing harassment can directly report their cases by tweeting.