In the wake of the recent gang rape case in Delhi, the Karnataka government has announced measures to curb such situations in the state, particularly in the Bangalore city.
Addressing a press conference, the deputy chief minister and home minister R Ashok said the government has decided to install CCTV cameras and Global Positioning System (GPS) in 6,000 city buses run by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
“The government will float a global tender within a week inviting interest from private companies to install CCTV cameras and GPS in city buses. The final bidder will be announced in 45 days,” said Ashok. The project will be started on a pilot basis wherein the CCTV cameras will be installed in 1,000 buses across Bangalore city. The final bidder will have to set-up a control room in central BMTC bus terminal and operate it for 5 years and transfer it to the state government eventually. The annual operational cost would be Rs 12-13 crore, he said. “Installation of GPS will cost Rs 20 crore. The government is still finalising terms and conditions for the tender,” added Ashok.
The government has also mandated all hostels / paying guests and cab drivers to register with the nearest police station. The city will see 1,100 ‘Hoysalas units’ (petrolling jeeps) and 367 Cheetah squads (motorcycles) patrolling the city round the clock, he said.
The state government has also launched a 24/7 helpline service for women, which can be used by dialing 1091 (for Bangalore). The state police are going to operate this helpline and register sexual crimes against women in the city. Women in distress and those facing threat of attack including molestation could call on phone number 1091.
Voicing concern over rape incidents, state Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje had urged the BJP government in the state to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment, including surgical castration, to perpetrators of crime against women.
The state home ministry has also issued advisory to all BPOs, IT companies and MNCs on steps to be taken to protect women employees at their workplace. Another guideline manuel has been issued specifying dos and don’t for the public at large. The police department has printed 100,000 brochures of this manual for distribution in public places.
The state government has decided to recruit 3,000 constables and 2,000 security personnel for the proposed Karnataka Industrial Security Force (KISF), on the model of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). KISF staff would man the business establishments, industrial houses in the state.