NMMT bus drivers, conductors get lessons in women’s safety

orientation:Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport crew members at a seminar.—photo: special arrangement  

Navi Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai police have, for the first time, organised a seminar on ‘Women’s safety in public transport’ for the drivers and conductors of Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) buses. Officials said the week-long seminar, which began on Monday, is being conducted at the NMMT’s Turbhe depot, and will conclude on October 9.

“Taking insights from the Nirbhaya case, we plan to train drivers and conductors on how to handle such situations and also acquaint them with various safety measures. The project is being spearheaded by the Women’s Assistance Cell of the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dilip Sawant said.

The first session of the seminar was held on Monday by Senior Police Inspector Sangeeta Alphonso of the Women’s Assistance Cell. “It is very important for the drivers and conductors to know what to do in case any untoward incident occurs in the bus. The period up to which the police reach the spot is crucial, and the right actions on part of NMMT staff will go a long way in helping us nab the culprits,” Ms. Alphonso said.

The first batch of 150 NMMT staff was on Monday familiarised with the ‘Pratisad’ cellphone app, which can be used to speedily get in touch with police. “The most important thing to do in such cases is to seek help from the passengers in the bus and then stop the bus at the first sight of any police official or a police chowky,” Ms. Alphonso added.

The Navi Mumbai police have also asked the transport undertaking to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all buses to help detect crimes on board buses.

“We plan to have GPS trackers and CCTV cameras in all buses,” chief Accounts and Finance Officer Khamkar Chandrasekar, from NMMT said. Currently, only 70 of the transport undertaking’s 360 buses have CCTV cameras.

The writer is a freelance journalist