NGO urges govt to install GPS in public transport vehicles

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NEW DELHI, APR 20,
Terming announcements for installation of panic button and GPS in public transport vehicles as steps on paper alone, a non-profit body has urged President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct states to ensure their implementation for women’s safety.
In a letter to the President, Raahat Foundation, a voluntary organisation, has said that despite the barbaric and ghastly Nirbhaya and Kathua incidents, nothing concrete could be done so far to ensure the safety of children and women in the country.
The representation, which has also been sent to the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India, besides Ministers of Law and Justice and Women & Child Welfare, mentions that a number of steps like fitting public transport vehicles with vehicle tracking system (VTS) and panic buttons were announced in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya incident but could not be effectively implemented.
Kamal Soi, Chairman, Raahat – The Safe Community Foundation, who is also a member of the National Road Safety Council, urged the President to “make the implementation of mandatory installation of VTS/ GPS/Panic Button in public vehicles throughout the country and direct for a close coordination between the Central & the state governments to finalise the modalities with respect to the procedures and guidelines for the states so that our women are safe while in transportation.”
In view of reports that most of the states had not done much to meet the target of installation of location tracking device or GPS and an alert button in public transport vehicles from April 1, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has reiterated its directive to the states to do so.
“From 1st April, 2018, passenger transport vehicles including taxis and buses are to be mandatorily equipped with GPS devices,” the ministry had earlier tweeted.
In the letter, the foundation said, “It is miserable that nothing happened and no preventive measures have been taken by the concerned government authorities to ensure safety and security of its women citizens which certainly is a wretched reflection on the Government and the conduct of its law & order machinery.”
Stressing that the states have not implemented any of the measures announced effectively in the wake of Nirbhaya tragedy, the foundation has urged for “necessary directions and instructions for immediate implementation of this VTS/ GPS/ Panic Button in public vehicles.”
Various ministries, including Women and Child Welfare, had announced a number of steps for safety of women in the wake of December 2012 Nirbhaya case in which six people had gang-raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in a moving bus, which had sparked a countrywide protest.

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