In an initiative aimed at ensuring the security of women  passengers, the Chandigarh Transport  Undertaking (CTU)  has  introduced the panic button on new buses, which will be launched  soon.

The CTU recently purchased  31 buses  for over Rs 20 crore for long routes. VP Singh Badnore,  Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, will flag off the buses soon.  The new buses have also been fitted with dashboard cameras to record incidents happening in front of buses.

This is the  first time that the CTU has  made it mandatory for the manufacturer to install the  panic button in buses. The panic button has been  introduced  on the direction of the Ministry  of Road Transport, which  asked all states  and UTs  to  install the  panic  button in buses  following a Supreme  Court order.

All passenger vehicles, including taxis and buses, are to be mandatorily equipped with GPS devices  and the panic  button.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Director, CTU, said they were working with the STA and  the  police to establish a  common  centre, which would be connected  with  the  panic button  system.

Once a passenger presses the alert button, the Transport Department and the Police Control Room will be alerted.

Though the GPS had been installed  in CTU  buses, this  is the  first  time  that the  panic button  has been introduced  in buses. Pressing it will send a message to a control room, mentioning the bus registration number and its location. The nearest police station will then be alerted for quick action.