They will be added to the division in May, says KSRTC official

Passenger safety in buses has come into focus in the wake of an alleged rape attempt by a Bangalore Municipal Transport Corporation (BMTC) driver there recently.

As it was understood that the bus was not equipped with CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras, essential for commuter safety, the enhancement of safety measures has become the need of the hour.

In view of a guideline for mandatory installation of CCTV cameras in newly-inducted buses, 93 new buses, to be added to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) Mysore fleet shortly under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), would be equipped with company-fitted sophisticated cameras.

“We have been told that 93 buses allotted for expanding operations in Mysore on intra-city routes will be equipped with cameras for passenger safety. This will be a first, as far as operations in Mysore are concerned. Once the camera-fitted buses are added to the existing fleet (expected to arrive in May), we will establish a system for continuous monitoring of camera footage,” said Divisional Controller (Urban) H.M. Ramesh.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramesh said bus services in Mysore had been brought under the Mysore Intelligent Transport (Mitra) system. “We will explore the possibilities of using the system to retrieve and monitor camera footage at the control room already in operation under Mitra,” he said.

As the demand for public transport has gone up, the division is introducing services to new residential townships to cater to commuters’ needs. Asked about installing cameras in buses already operating in Mysore, Mr. Ramesh said: “that decision rests with the central office in Bangalore. So far, we have not received any instructions in this regard.”

KSRTC’s urban division, with a fleet of 465 buses, operates 6,500 daily trips on intra-city routes here. About 75 buses were added to the fleet recently.

On buses given on contract basis to factories and industries for transporting employees, the Divisional Controller said 45 buses were operating in this capacity. “Most of the contract buses operate in daytime, especially in the early hours, and only a few operate at night,” he said.

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