By Mahvash Zehra
NEW DELHI: The national capital Delhi that has earned disrepute of being India’s rape capital, is of late, turning out to become a safe city with a slew of initiatives underway that could potentially prevent crime against women and violence as we enter into 2020.
Thanks to Arvind Kejriwal! Delhi chief minister has been insistently working to make the national capital territory (NCT) safe and secure while facing brickbats from political opponents. Be it camera-based surveillance, street light scheme or a safer public transportation – women safety has taken a centre stage in Delhi now.
Following the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder in a moving bus in 2012, the state has netted a dubious distinction worldwide. In 2013, a survey was conducted in the national capital as a part of the Safer Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls initiative by the UN Women in partnership with the Delhi government and an NGO.
Delhi, being one of the five pilot cities for household study worldwide revealed startling data points. In a sample finding based on 2001 women surveyed, revealed that as many as 95 per cent of women and girls feel unsafe in the city’s public spaces.
With high tourist footfall, women’s safety has always been a top agenda for the state government agenda policing is a subject matter of the Union.
In February 2015, 1.35-crore-populated region trusted Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and brought it to power with a thumping majority winning 67 out of a total of 70 assembly seats.
Before Delhi’s 6 lakh women could vote afresh early next year on the back of security initiatives being undertaken during the last five years, besides other citizen-centric initiatives, Delhi’s incumbent chief minister seems to be much confident!
In one of the programs as a part of women’s safety, the Delhi government has finally come out with a plan to deploy as many as 300,000 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Nearly 50 per cent of the overall installation base has already been accomplished putting the city’s deployment as one of the largest anywhere in the world.
The initiative would indeed help to keep close surveillance of Delhi lanes and bylanes in addition to important buildings and institutions such as hospitals, schools, and public offices.
The Delhi government has also deploying CCTV cameras, panic buttons and Global Positioning System (GPS) in 5,500 public transport buses at an estimated cost of Rs 128 crore.
The ambitious project to be completed by a Central government’s public sector undertaking (PSU) Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) would entail 10 panic buttons and three CCTV cameras in each bus in addition to a proposed command centre to monitor real-time onboard activities.
Recently, the territory has though procured 100 new buses equipped with cameras and panic buttons.
The ambitious street lightening scheme is one of the prestigious programs to bring an end to more than 1,000 dark spots or isolated pockets in Delhi region.
Under the Mukhyamantri Street Light Scheme, 210,000 LED lights have been proposed to be installed taking the total count to 9.1 lakh. The project will see spend of nearly Rs 100 crore with remotely-controlled cloud-based server enabled street lights. The power tariff for lights installed at the premises of residents would be reimbursed or adjusted in their monthly bills.
The initiatives by the Delhi government that would have a long way to go have though seen a near 20% decline in cases against women in 2017 with 11,542 cases as against 13,803 in 2016, as per the National Crime Records Bureau statistics.
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