From a bus to police, SOS with one-click app

The Justice Verma Committee has suggested the introduction of downloadable mobile phone applications that can, with one click or a touch, transmit a distress signal to the police.

Set up after the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman inside a moving bus in Delhi, the committee says, "Technology may also be developed to track the signals or messages in distress. In this respect, we have, after consultation with experts, suggested a 'Public Emergency Response System'."

The committee has recommended that there be a single central emergency response number so that the average person on the street need not memorise different numbers for different situations.

It has recommended installation of CCTVs in each bus in all metropolitan cities. "The CCTV has to be installed in a tamper-proof condition and it will be the duty of the constable who is travelling in the bus to ensure that the CCTV is not tampered with," says the report.

It has suggested that all buses have GPS, which can be fitted into the chassis or the engine, and have drivers who have been vetted for security. The committee's other suggestions include street lighting everywhere since dark areas are more prone to such crimes, apart from ensuring that the buses are well-lit at night. The committee has asked governments to deploy a woman constable on public transport vehicles that ply between 5.30 pm and 7.30 am.

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