Bhubaneswar, March 8 (IANS) To create a safer environment for women, Odisha has launched a bus service exclusively for them on International Women's Day Friday, an official here said.
The service was flagged off by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the state capital Bhubaneswar. Initially, two special buses will be introduced between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. The buses will play between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., a state transport department official told IANS.
Except drivers, the special buses will have all-women staff. However, the transport department plans to appoint women drivers soon, the official said.
The all-women bus services will also be launched in other towns of the state few months later. The government's initiative is in view of increasing crimes against women in Odisha, the official added.
In 2012, 1,300 rape cases were registered in Odisha, up from 1,112 cases in 2011 and 1,025 cases in 2010.
Similarly, the state registered 2,905 molestation cases in 2010, which rose to 3,207 in 2011 and crossed the 3,500 mark in 2012, official sources said.