The Chennai Municipal Corporation conducted the first phase of the safety audit in Tondiarpet. That looked into access roads to schools, colleges and public areas like the market, toilets, safety in bus stops. The audit aims to make the policies of infrastructure gender-sensitive. The officials have already prepared a draft of the audit while the final report is yet to be out.
According to the reports of The New Indian Express, the audit was prepared under the city corporation Gender Lab project set up as part of the Chennai City Partnership, with assistance from the World Bank.
"The initiative will help pinpoint where exactly the money should go to improve women's safety. For instance, in Tondiarpet, what issues does she face if a woman takes the metro rail? What issues does she face while travelling in an MTC bus -- these are the kind of things that are looked at,"
said a corporation official.
What Is Gender Lab?
The 'Gender Lab' was set up by the city corporation on March 8, 2021, as part of the Nirbhaya Project implemented by the World Bank. The project was set up to ensure that the existing and future Infrastructure policies are gender-inclusive. The Lab put together by the consultants and policy experts from urban planning, mobility, gender policy and behavioral training. The consultants started the fieldwork right after the project was approved to assess the problems faced by women in the public sphere regarding personal safety, hygiene, health, climate, and social security.
Safe City Project
Significantly the policies will not be driven only by men but also by women consultants. An amount of 4 Crore was approved at the inception of the project. The state government has also sanctioned 425.06 Crore for the "Safe City Project for Women's Safety in Public Places in Chennai" under the Nirbhaya Scheme. This Scheme will be implemented on a cost-sharing basis with the Centre to carry out initiatives to tackle gender-based violence and harassment of women.