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Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today said women could directly approach the Women and Child Development ministry if they face problems while using cabs, following allegations of harassment by a woman rider against an Uber driver here. "Flag us if you face harassment of any form while being ferried by cabs," Gandhi tweeted. She also urged cab aggregator Uber to enforce strict guidelines to ensure safety of women following allegations of harassment by the woman rider against a driver. Uber in a statement said they have barred the accused driver from using the app and have also suggested that the victim take police assistance. The woman had alleged that the Uber cab driver harassed her and forced her to get down midway during a trip in the city following an argument. "Uber must take cognisance and enforce strict guidelines to ensure women safety and curb untoward incidents as this," Gandhi tweeted. A spokesperson of the ministry said that Gandhi was referring to guidelines issued by the Centre. However, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has only prepared a draft taxi policy which was made public in December last year and is yet to be finalised. Gandhi had also written to Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, in September, 2016 with recommendations for this draft policy. Among her suggestions were mandatory GPS in cabs, central locking to be disabled, identification details of driver to be prominently displayed and a glass or metal mesh between the driver and the rear seat. The draft policy also mentions measures such as disabling of central locking system, and driver details to be displayed. Apart from this it mandates an emergency response system to handle SOS alerts. The proposed policy also recommends that cab aggregators develop their mobile app in such a manner that riders can share their location with a minimum of two persons and can contact the police in case of an emergency.
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