Public panic buttons and all-women police patrol teams will soon be launched in eight major cities, including Delhi, under a special women safety programme for which the Home Ministry has approved nearly Rs 3,000 crore.
Transit dormitories for women and children, smart LED streetlights, one-stop crisis centres, and forensic and cyber crime cells will be part of the Women Safe City Project.
It will implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow from 2018-19 to 2020-21, a senior Home Ministry official said Sunday.
Safe city proposals amounting to Rs 2,919.55 crore were approved under the 'Nirbhaya Fund' recently, the official said.
The 'Nirbhaya Fund' was set up in 2013 for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing safety and security for women in the country.
The non-lapsable corpus fund was instituted following the gangrape of a girl in Delhi in 2012 which triggered nationwide outrage and protests.
Rs 663.67 crore has been earmarked for Delhi, Rs 252 crore for Mumbai, Rs 425.06 crore for Chennai, Rs 253 crore for Ahmedabad, Rs 181.32 crore for Kolkata, Rs 667 crore for Bengaluru, Rs 282.50 crore for Hyderabad and Rs 195 crore for Lucknow, the official said.
The project takes a comprehensive view of women safety, with the states adopting a mix of solutions based on their requirements. It envisages deployment of all-women patrol teams such as SHE-teams and well-equipped emergency response vehicles called 'Abhayam' vans to ensure quick and effective response system.
The proposed infrastructure includes development of safe zone clusters in hot crime zones, smart LED street lighting, CCTV cameras connected to modern command and control centres, security enablers in public transport, installation of public panic buttons, provision of toilets for women within safe eco-systems and transit dormitories for women and children.
Police stations are planned to be equipped with women help desks and other services such as counsellors. This will make police stations more accessible to women for lodging complaints and getting other assistance.
One-stop crisis centres are also planned along with forensic and cyber crime cells.
An integrated approach has been followed while designing the physical infrastructure to be added to enhance safety of women and children in public places and to instil a sense of security in them, another official said.
The safe city proposals have been prepared jointly by the respective police and municipal commissioners of each city.
The proposals involve GIS-based crime mapping for identifying crime hot spots, conducting crime scene analysis and filling in gaps in the existing eco-system for ensuring safety of women in public places.
These have been designed to have synergy with smart city elements wherever applicable and have been customised to the local needs of police and municipalities and the aspirations of city dwellers, the official said.
The project is being implemented in consultations with the ministries of women and child development, urban development and electronics and information technology and respective municipal and police commissioners.
The cost of the project would be shared between the central government (from Nirbhaya fund) and respective states in the ratio of 60:40. In case of Delhi, the home ministry will allocate an additional amount of Rs 240.11 crore.
Incidents of crime against women rose from 3,29,243 in 2015 to 3,38,954 in 2016.
In 2015, as many as 34,651 cases of rape were registered in the country. The figure increased to 38,947 in 2016, according to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau. The data for 2017 is yet to be published.