PMPML mulls panic buttons in all buses

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is considering installing panic buttons in buses, provided they are cost-effective, in an effort to make public transport safer for women.

Anant Waghmare, general manager (operations) told TOI that the all-women Tejaswini buses are expected to have the system and the PMPML will consider the option in all their buses.

“As far as the Tejaswini buses are concerned, we are yet to receive the details from the state government. We hope the buses will start arriving in a month or two. The buses are expected to have some features aimed at the security of women travelling in them, including panic buttons. The PMPML can introduce the same in its entire fleet after considering the cost factor,“ Waghmare said.

Last year, the state government took a decision to start women-only buses in different cities. Christened `Tejaswini’, a total of 300 buses were allocated initially for five cities -Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali and Nagpur -at an estimated cost of Rs 90 crore. Out of this amount, the state government has already sanc tioned Rs 50 crore for 2016-17.Initially, Pune was kept out of the loop initially but included later by the state government.PMPML has asked for a total of 100 buses costing Rs 30 lakh each. “Once the button is pressed, it will send the signal mentioning the location of the bus to the control room. The same can be linked with the local police control room and the nearest police station of the area so that help can arrive fast,“ the official pointed out.

At present, PMPML has 2055 buses. Between 1,400 and 1600 buses ply on the road every day with the rest kept in reserve. The transport body has already announced the arrival of air conditioned buses.

“At present, all the buses are GPS enabled and we can track them down at any given time. Though there are a few buses in which the system is a bit shaky , more or less all buses have a functional GPS system.The panic button will be an added advantage and will help not only women but also senior citizens,“ another official said.

Source : TOI