Women demand safe commute at night in Bengaluru

Transport Department demands that aggregators be held responsible when their drivers are accused of harassing passengers

July 07, 2018 01:33 am | Updated July 13, 2018 11:53 am IST

Safety concerns have also been raised by many travelling on the new airport road via Hennur in Bengaluru.

Safety concerns have also been raised by many travelling on the new airport road via Hennur in Bengaluru.

With social media awash with incidents of drivers harassing women passengers, there is a growing demand that authorities and taxi aggregators make women’s safety top priority.

College student Nandini Pradhan recalled an incident where she and three friends booked a taxi at midnight from Kempegowda International Airport to Bannerghatta Road.

“The driver followed a completely different route, one that I was not familiar with. I asked the driver whether he was following the map correctly. It was only after we questioned him that he diverted the vehicle towards the route we were familiar with. We felt extremely uncomfortable and unsafe.”

Not just airport

While a majority of the incidents unfold while women are travelling to or from the airport, many point out that safety of women travelling anywhere in the city should be a priority.

“All modes of transport are becoming increasingly unsafe for us. It is both shocking and upsetting,” said Rhea Tewary.

Make aggregators accountable

In the wake of recent cases, the Transport Department has taken the stand that aggregators be held responsible whenever a driver on their platform is accused of harassing women passengers.

A senior official of the department said, “There are rules such as installing panic buttons which can be used by passengers in an emergency. At present, the aggregators are not ready to take responsibility when drivers harass women passengers. They offer evasive replies saying that the drivers are not employees’ partners. This technical jargon by them cannot be accepted. They are doing business with drivers and must be held responsible.” Rules for aggregators brought out by the Transport Department are now before the High Court of Karnataka.

Meanwhile, in the case that took place on June 5, the police said that they would take action against Ola if the aggregator was found guilty of any lapses. “We have questioned officials of Ola in the case. If the aggregator has shown any lapse, appropriate cases will be booked against them as well.”

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