Government to launch 3 initiatives centering women’s safety

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will announce on Tuesday a range of citizen safety initiatives, including a national emergency number and a Safe City project.

Under the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), citizens in distress can dial 112, a pan-India number. The call will go to a team of professionals, trained to handle emergency requests from police, fire & rescue, health and other emergency services.

The Centre will give Rs 321.69 crore to states/UTs for ERSS under the Nirbhaya Fund for Women’s Protection. The states are required to set up a dedicated Emergency Response Centre (ERC) under the system.

The service is already operational in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

On Tuesday, it will be launched in Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadar Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mumbai.

Singh will also unveil a 112 India app, equipped with a “special SHOUT feature” by using that one can raise an alarm in emergency to registered volunteers in the vicinity for assistance.

The government will also launch an Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to be used by the law enforcement agencies. The system will help these agencies track rape cases at central and state levels for time-bound resolution.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2018 mandates completion of investigation and trials in rape cases within two months.

“To enhance women safety, the government has formulated a multi-pronged action plan and initiated a series of measures. ITSSO is one of such measures developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs towards smart policing,” the government said in release.

The government has also identified eight cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai — for implementation of “Safe City” projects, which will involve “creation of on-ground assets, resources and behaviour change programmes for safety of women”.

A joint endeavour of city’s police and municipal bodies, the project will include identifying crime hotspots and saturating them with CCTV cameras, drone-based surveillance and deployment of automated number plate reading (ANPR) equipment through an integrated smart control room.

The first phase of the project will cost Rs 2,919 crore, the ministry said.