New Delhi, Jan 9 (IBNS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said the Special Task Force (STF) headed by Union Home Secretary R K Singh to look into the safety issues of women in Delhi and review the functioning of Delhi Police on an ongoing basis had its first meeting last week.
"The meeting reviewed the status of different Helplines, PCR Vans, DTC/cluster bus service, working hours for discotheques and women help desks in Police Stations among other issues," said the MHA in a release.
"While reviewing helpline No.100, the Home Secretary directed that whenever a call is received, a nearest PCR vehicle must reach and investigate the cause except where prima-facie, it is a crank call," said the ministry.
It was agreed at the meeting to increase the number of lines from 60 to 100.
"Another Helpline 1091 used generally for counselling of women had two lines. It was agreed that this line will be converted into distress helpline for women and the number of lines will be increased from 2 to 10 or more," said the MHA.
It was also agreed that invariably ladies should be placed on these lines to attend the calls.
Another helpline 1096 for Anti Obscene and Anti Stalking Helpline was also reviewed.
It was agreed that these helplines will under no circumstances ask the person in distress to call any other number or direct the person to any other forum and the co-ordination with any other forum is done by the helpline.
"The number of PCR Vans was found inadequate and will be revised suitably to make the PCR Van more proactive and responsive. The position of buses and bus stops was also reviewed with the Chief Secretary and Transport Commissioner of Delhi," said the MHA.
"It was also agreed that DTC/ cluster buses should be GPS enabled and it should be made functional at a Centralised Control Room by February 01, 2013."
It was decided at the STF meet that every DTC/Cluster bus should have a CCTV/Web Cam installation.
"Every member of the crew of a public transport vehicle must have a photo identify card latest by March 01, 2013 duly verified by Delhi Police. If this direction is not complied then the Delhi Police shall not allow these vehicles to ply," said the MHA.
"No school should hire any transport vehicle of any kind without the owner and the rest of the crew being verified by the Delhi Police. Such order and the Police verification thereof must be completed by February 01, 2013," it said.
The ministry said all vulnerable bus routes should be identified by the Delhi Police.
"Buses plying on these routes must be manned by plain clothes Policemen day and night. All vulnerable pedestrian roads/ pedestrian pathways be identified by Delhi Police and must be properly lit during the night.
"All permits issued by the Transport Department must be re-verified by the Department with regard to any false information submitted in the old permits. All permits issued by the Transport Department must be re-verified by the said Department with regard to any false information submitted in the old permits," said the MHA.
It was decided at the STF meeting that all posh discotheques will close down by 1 am.
"All stand alone discotheques and all 5 Star discotheques must close down the music by 12.30 AM and completely close down by 1.00 AM," said the MHA.
"Every Police Station must have a Women's Help Desk occupied by lady staff. During the night, there should be at least 2 ladies staff deployed at the Police Station. Every Women's Help Desk at Police Station shall associate women NGO volunteers with the help of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW)," said the MHA.
The constitution of the STF comes in the wake of a nationwide outrage over the gangrape and brutalization of a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus in the national capital on Dec 16. The girl succumbed to her injuries on Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital after putting up a brave fight for 13 days.