The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has inducted 163 women from the state to drive its buses under a pilot project.
Their induction ceremony was held in Pune on Friday evening, where former President Pratibha Patil handed over the MSRTC’s appointments letters to the women.
State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, Shiv Sena leader Nilam Gorhe were also present on the occasion.
According to an official, the MSRTC has relaxed some rules for the women drivers.
"“Generally, an MSRTC driver is required to have a licence to drive a heavy motor vehicle (HMV) and needs three years heavy vehicle driving experience, but that rule has been relaxed. Now, women having one year experience of driving a light motor vehicle (LMV) have been given opportunity,”" - MSRTC Official
Apart from this, the minimum height requirement of 160 cms has been relaxed and reduced to 153 cms for women drivers, the official said.
“All these women will undergo training and after that, they will be inducted into the service,” said an official.
In her speech, Patil said that by imparting training to these women, the MSRTC has taken a courageous step.
“To make it a success, all the stakeholders will have to take collective efforts,” she said.
Raote said the project is aimed at encouraging women drivers.
“We have taken all the measures to ensure the safety and security of these women,” he said.
The minister said that currently the MSRTC has 36,000 male drivers and the state transport utility is hopeful of having more 10,000 female drivers in the next few years.
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