Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What happened to Kejriwal’s promise of marshals and CCTV cameras in DTC buses?

Just when the Delhi government is once again under the scanner due to the cases of fraud presented by ex-Law Minister, Jitendra Tomar, and a case relating to domestic violence on Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti, people in Delhi have once again tried to bring focus to the various promises the government made during elections. Female security was one of the most important issue which helped Kejriwal become Chief Minister of the state. Kejriwal had promised deploying marshals on Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, as well as installing CCTV cameras in the buses as well as various streets of Delhi. But nothing much has been achieved.

During the elections AAP had promised to deploy 5,000 marshals in DTC buses. It had also promised the creation of a Women’s security force comprising of 10,000 home guards. As per the latest report, no Home Guard (HG) personnel is free for the job! The existing strength of the Delhi Home Guard, which comes directly under Delhi Government, is 5,000. Out of this 4,500 HGs are presently assisting Delhi police, and the remaining 500 are deployed in various other departments.

Interestingly, 98 home guards who had earlier been deployed with DTC buses after the December 16 gang rape incident, have not received their salary for last seven months. The report was published in The Hindu newspaper. There is a vacancy of 5,000 HGs. Lack of funds with DTC will be a big hurdle in the process.

Similarly, the situation is not very good when we talk about CCTV cameras in DTC buses. According to a latest report, only 4.2% of DTC buses have CCTV surveillance. By November 2014, the DTC had already installed non wi-fi CCTV cameras in 200 DTC buses. It was a pilot project but nothing much has been achieved since then. 

It has been reported that the government has written to Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung to withdraw HGs from the Delhi Police. But there has been no reply from Jung on this matter.

DTC has a fleet of 4,705 buses, which is used by nearly 4.5 million people everyday. Many cases of sexual harassment have been reported in the buses. If marshals and CCTV cameras are present, then it will surely help the women commuters.

AAP came to power with many promises and hopes. But it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. And nothing concrete has been produced by the government. The controversies relating to Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Jitendra Tomar, Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla, Kejriwal-Jung tussle, were making the news. But decisions relating to women security were never able to make a headlines in the national capital.

Only time will tell if the ‘technical problems’ were far too difficult for a party which came to power promising change in the initial days. There has been a new wave of dissatisfaction with the Kejriwal government in Delhites. Let us see if Kejriwal is able to win back the hearts of Delhites or not.

This article was first published by on June 16, 2015

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