Men occupying women’s seats in buses to be fined in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Male bus passengers found occupying seats reserved for women will now be fined in Odisha. In view of the frequent complaints of harassment of women travelling in buses, the state Government has decided to penalize male passengers to be found sitting on seats meant for women.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held between Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi, members of private bus owners’ associations and Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) MD Arun Bothra at Police Seva Bhawan here yesterday. A notification in this regard will be issued soon.

Since women and girls are found harassed mostly while standing inside buses, the meeting stressed on ensuring availability of sufficient seats to women passengers in both Government-run and private buses. Besides, a special toll-free number will also be released to help women facing harassment in moving buses.

“Women passengers can call or send message on the number in case they face harassment while on board. Immediate action will be taken after that. Bus owners have been directed to ensure proper execution of the order. They have also been instructed to ensure that bus staff are well-behaved and do not consume liquor during duTy hours,” said an official.

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