Post December 16, 2012 gangrape, the Delhi Government has deployed 1,200 marshals for a total of 3,882 buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) plying during evening hours. The main purpose of the marshals was to provide safety and security to women passengers. The safety issue has once again taken the center stage after the elder sister of a girl from Mumbai, who studies in a Delhi University college, posted a series of tweet last week, saying that her sister was physically harassed and molested frequently in the bus route number-544.
A senior official of the Delhi Transport department said, “The Government has taken a principled stand that all buses will have marshals but as of now there are no marshals in the clustered buses.” He further added, “Approximately around 1,200 marshals have been deployed by DTC in its buses but the number has been decreased due to their non availability. These marshals were drawn from Home Guards & Civil Defene and their main duty is to assist women passengers in case of any unsavoury incident with them.”
“The Government has appointed a consultant for execution of CCTV proposal in DTC and cluster buses. Tender is likely to be floated by this month end. CCTV cameras will be installed in all the buses by March 2019,” said the official.
Moreover, during a reality check on Thursday, nine out of ten girls raised the question of marshals and CCTV cameras in the buses when The Pioneer spoke with Delhi girls. Girl students of Jesus and Marry college (JMC), Maiteryi college for women, Atma Ram Sanathan Dhan (ARSD) college, Gargi, Kamla Nehru College (KNC), voiced their concern about the presence of louts in these buses during morning and evening hours.
The girls spoke in unison about incidents of eve-teasing and harassment in most of the buses as it was not only limited to bus route no 544. “The issue is that in every single bus of DTC, be it 544, 523, 540,623, 611,448, Outer Mudrika, 522 , lumpen elements misbehave with girls and women”, they said.
“In Delhi, such incident happens daily. This time the issue raised but there are students and woman who are facing the issue daily. I come from Naraina and I have to take two buses to reach the college and not a single days passes when we do not encounter such an incident. Police is there outside the college and currently since it has come out in the public domain. Now they are checking buses in the morning but it will stop after some days. Our main request from the government is to deploy more marshals, CCTV cameras,” said Olka Langeh, a student of Political Science at Gargi College of Delhi University.
Aishwarya, a student of Maitreyi College for woman said, “Till September, a person who the people called mentally retarded, use to come and unzip his pants and dance sometime and stare at girls coming out of the colleges - JMC and Maitreyi.
He may had some mental issues but it is dangerous and the person came to the college on Thursday and Friday between 3-5 pm without fail. So, the police which is tweeting and patrolling about their work these days should do this daily to provide safety. Further, our demand is marshals and CCTV cameras in buses.”