Making Travel Safer For Women! Panic Buttons & Loudspeakers Installed In Over Thousands Of Chennai Public Buses

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The Logical Indian Crew

Making Travel Safer For Women! Panic Buttons & Loudspeakers Installed In Over Thousands Of Chennai Public Buses

Recently the Chennai city ranked as the most women-friendly city in the country with a high City Inclusion Score (CIS). Moving toward strengthening this position, the city has entered second phase of their project to make public transport safer for women with enhanced security systems.

Tamil Nadu Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, Udhayanidhi Stalin, inaugurated the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) in the city on January 10. The control centre acts as a response centre for women and others when they are in a distressing situation. It comes along with the installation of cameras and other safety equipment onboard the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses, terminuses and bus stops. The panic alert sent through these safety equipment set up on the buses, terminuses, and bus stops, will be received at the ICCC, which would then prompt an action or rescue process.

Earlier this month, a diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions firm - Avtar Group, released the results of a year-long study that ranked cities based on their women-friendliness. The study rankings saw Chennai top the list with a score of 78.41, and many other cities and towns from Tamil Nadu faring better on their livability and inclusivity scores. The measures undertaken to make public transport safer for women are yet another example of how the government has been working towards becoming women-friendly.

Entering Second Phase Of Safer MTC

The inauguration, which took place on January 10 at the MTC headquarters in Chennai, saw the participation of several state ministers, including the Transport Minister SS Sivasankar and Religious Endowments Department Minister PK Sekar Babu. The officials announced that the installation of the safety equipment in the buses was being carried out under the central government-sponsored Nirbhaya Fund, which has been allocated to ensure women's and children's safety. Around ₹72.25 crores were utilised for the program, and the first phase was completed with the installation of CCTV cameras in about 500 buses.

Chennai now witnesses Udhayanidhi carrying his father's efforts to ensure women's safety by taking the project into its second phase. In the second phase, a total of 1,830 MTC buses have been equipped with enhanced security systems, such as CCTV cameras, panic buttons, and loudspeakers. Additionally, as many as 63 locations, including bus stops and terminuses, have been fitted with cameras for round-the-clock surveillance.

How A Button Translates To Safety For Women

The two-storey ICCC building, set up at the cost of ₹4.72 crores, acts as the response point that is enabled to immediately look into situations when a panic button has been alerted. At times of emergency, a person can press the panic button, which would immediately alert the driver, conductor, and passengers through the loudspeaker systems installed within the buses.

Apart from the four panic buttons and the loudspeaker, each bus would also have a mobile network video recorder and three CCTV cameras. According to a report by the Indian Express, the alert sent through the panic button would also be passed on to the command centre, where the situation will be analysed, and necessary action will be taken. The ICCC has been equipped with a giant video wall and 16 computer operators that can monitor movements accordingly.

Also Read: Lessons On Inclusion! South India Dominates Top Women-Friendly Cities In Country, Says Study

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Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
Editor : Jayali Wavhal
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