Indore: The blanket ban on curtains, tinted glass or any other material blocking the view, by the Supreme Court (SC) is being violated by the city buses running in Indore. The city buses run by AiCTSL (Atal Indore City Transport Service Limited) are covered in vinyl advertisements.
Following the horrific Nirbhaya gang-rape case, SC in 2012, prohibited the use of black films of any visual light transmission (VLT) or any other material (such as curtains or mesh) upon safety glass, wind screens (whether front or rear) and side glass of all vehicles, irrespective of the percentage of visual light permitted or blocked, throughout the country.
Despite that, city buses in Indore have covered the rear wind screens with large flex banners featuring advertisements. There are about one lakh commuters regularly travelling in city buses, and around 40 per cent of them are women.
With such banners blocking the view, it poses a threat to women safety. “I regularly have to travel for about 15 to 20 kilometres to my college and it is not feasible to pay for an auto every day. I opt for city bus, but it is often scary if I don’t have my college friends along. The bus becomes a scary option in evening hours especially in winters, as the entire bus is dark and the rear window screen is covered completely,” Akshata Choudhary, a college student, said.
This is not just her dilemma, but a struggle for many young girls, who are travelling in the city bus. “We prefer using public transport, as we are studying social work and change should begin with us. Sadly, not even public transport buses are worried about women’s safety and ignoring the ban from SC,” Ankita Asrani, college student, said.
Rashly racing through traffic with no rear view
Have you seen rashly driven city buses recently? You are not alone and just the driver is not to blame. With the rear wind screen completely blocked, the driver only looks at where he has to go.
“I rode in the city bus twice recently as I had no other option, and it is likely a roller coaster ride. The bus races through the traffic without giving a second look around and of course, no idea about the person driving behind!” Disha Patni, an IT professional, said.
Quoting his experience, businessman Manish Giridari said, “It is scary to be behind a city bus, because it speeds and abruptly stops. This often causes a crash. I saw a recent one on Wednesday when a motorist fell from his bike, while the bus sped away as usual.”
Complaint raised, action awaited
Worried about women safety, RTI activist Sanjay Mishra raised the issue in Jansunvai. Failing to receive any desired actions, he even approached divisional commissioner Akash Tripathi explaining the issue.
Tripathi issued a letter demanding an answer on the issue from chief executive officer AiCTSL Sandeep Soni. Further, as per proceedings in Jansunvai, DIG (Deputy Inspector General of Police) has instructed the traffic department officers to get details. The instructions orders were given to Sanyogitaganj police station on Friday.