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Police radar on bus stands

Cuttack, Dec. 25: The Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police has decided to intensify patrolling at various bus stands, including the Badambadi bus terminal, at night.

The decision was taken at a review meeting held in the wake of the recent gang rape in New Delhi.

“We will intensify patrolling in and around various bus stands to put a check on any kind of nuisance in the city,” said deputy commissioner of police S. Praveen Kumar.

Besides intensifying patrolling measures, the police today launched an awareness drive about the toll-free traffic help line number 1095, which is meant to provide emergency assistance. The drive involved private bus owners and members of autorickshaw owners’ associations.

“Any female passenger travelling in bus or autorickshaw can seek assistance of the cops round the clock. Citizens can also report any kind of mischief against women,” Kumar said.

The emergency number was introduced in August to provide assistance to commuters in case of any traffic-related issue.

However, the system had also come handy for cops to contain crime as many people used the number to report criminal activities.

More than 1,400 calls have been made to the number. This includes calls related to road rage and other crime.

The security of women passengers in various public transport systems, especially during night hours, has always been a matter of concern.

In most cases, drivers and conductors of buses indulge in harassing or even molesting lady passengers.

Approximately 30 per cent of passengers travelling in the 12,300 buses run by private operators in the state are women. Over 2,500 of these buses operate between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

Officials of private bus owners associations said adequate steps had been taken to put a check on any kind of harassment by their staff.

“We have all the necessary identity proof and telephone numbers of all the drivers and conductors and stringent action would be taken against those misbehaving with female passengers,” said All-Odisha Bus Owners’ Association general secretary Debendra Kumar Sahoo.