(G.N.S) Dt. 29
Come April, women in Bengaluru will be able to hail pink autorickshaws, reserved for their use.
To be distributed under the welfare schemes of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the autos will come equipped with CCTV cameras and GPS trackers and will hit the roads by the end of March.
“We plan to distribute 500 pink autos under our welfare schemes. We will provide Rs 80,000 in subsidy for each autorickshaw, and the beneficiary will have to pay the balance. The drivers can be men or women, but if the latter come forward, they will be given preference. We will provide a special training programme for male drivers to behave with woman passengers better,” said Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, chairperson of the BBMP standing committee for social justice and welfare.
Mayor Sampath Raj announced the move in November soon after the Palike decided to reserve 20% of slots at its parking lots for women.
Pink autorickshaws are the latest in a series of women-friendly measures announced by the city’s civic agencies, such as Pink Hoysalas, women’s-only coach on the Metro and pink seats on BMTC buses.
Women have hailed the move, but say these autorickshaws alone might not guarantee their safety. Amira Raman, a tech professional, said, “Since the autorickshaws will be reserved for women, the number of people wanting to use them will come down by half. This way, I don’t have to haggle over the price. However, if the CCTV feed is not being monitored, then there is no point in having it.”