ABDUL WAHAB KHAN | NT
To take forward government’s push for night shift for women, the Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited has come out with a solution for the last-mile connectivity so as to facilitate women to work at night in industrial units of the state.
The government has decided to amend the Factory Act 1948 to allow women to work on the shop floor from 7 pm to 6 am.
The corporation has sought assistance from the Centre under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ to procure 50 big and small buses fitted with safety devices like CCTV, GPS and panic button to pick and drop women from workplaces to their doorsteps.
The round-the-clock bus service is expected to start by year-end, providing the option for women to get off the buses closer to their homes even if they are located in remote areas.
The KTC will also consider purchasing smaller vehicles for this last-mile connectivity.
Senior KTC officials have said that they have mulled starting ‘women only’ buses in every taluka to boost women’s safety.
The women only bus service on the Panaji-Ponda route has evoked good response as the KTC bus is always packed with women passengers.
‘Nirbhaya Fund’, the non-lapsable corpus fund parked with the department of economic affairs of the Union finance ministry, has been earmarked for implementing the initiatives undertaken to enhance the safety and security for women in the country.
However, the senior KTC officials have observed that providing the last-mile connectivity will not solve the problem in its entirety. Identifying areas that could help improve women’s safety, like hostel facility for night stay, would be a step in the right direction.
The industry has been beset by challenges to provide transport facilities to their women employees working late night. Women oftentimes do not rely on public transport as they are forced to walk a long distance to their homes after alighting from the bus at the bus stop.
This situation makes women to look up to their employers to provide transport to get back home after working late night.