oncerned over the increasing incidences of crime against women by cab drivers, the women and child development ministry (WCD) has called a meeting to deal with the menace on Wednesday. Sources said the ministry would seek greater accountability of the taxi aggregators rather than simply washing their hands off by dismissing the accused drivers.
The meeting will be chaired by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi and will be attended by other ministries and representatives from two major taxi aggregators, Uber and Ola. Sources said, the ministry will emphasise on more thorough background checks of the drivers and to ensure that the taxis have disabled the child-lock feature.
Another meeting is scheduled later this month on how to implement the tracking of vehicles based on the experience in Kerala and DIMTS in Delhi.
Wednesday’s meeting has been scheduled within days of the WCD ministry’s letter from to the Bangalore police commissioner to explore taking criminal action against the taxi aggregator for not doing due diligence to check the credentials of the driver, who was involved in the case of alleged molestation of a women passenger.
The Ola cab driver allegedly molested and forced her to strip, took pictures of her on mobile phone and even threatened to call his friends and get her gang-raped while she was en-route to the airport. Bengaluru police has arrested the driver and a case has been registered.
In the past few months, there have been some cases of crime against women in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore involving cab drivers.
The ministry is likely to show the provisions of the “new taxi policy guidelines” of 2017 which had specified that each taxi must have GPS panic devices and the child lock must be disabled. Moreover, the identification details of the driver along with photo and registration number of the vehicle must be prominently on display in the vehicle. Recently, there were reports of Bangalore police asking the cab aggregators to revise their apps to ensure that when a passenger in distress presses the panic button, a message should be relayed to the police control room along with the cab’s location.