And just like that, it has been a year of the Aam Aadmi Party in power. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the party, and a lot of new changes were introduced in this year. We, at CSR, decided to have a look at their one year report card, and see how well their promises turned to action, especially concerning women.
Promise No. 1 : The long neglected transgender community will be provided access to health, education and appropriate identity cards that will ease their engagement with institutions.
Status: Following the recommendations of expert committee on issues of transgender community, the Delhi government announced setting up a district level screening committee that will, among other things, issue a certificate of being a transgender person.
Promise No. 2: AAP will build two lakh toilets across Delhi, out of which 1 lakh toilets will be for women. These toilets will be concentrated in public spaces and slum areas.
Status: As of November 2015, only 2031 new toilet seats were added since the AAP government took over.
Promise No. 3: Unlit streets become scenes of crimes particularly against women, and seventy percent of Delhi’s streetlights don’t work. AAP promises to ensure a 100 percent lighting of streets across the city.
Status: No installations yet. As per the data provided by officials, PWD (under Delhi government) has jurisdiction over just 1,600km of the total 33,000km of road length in Delhi, which is a major hurdle in fulfilling this promise.
Promise No. 4: AAP will provide effective last mile connectivity in Delhi’s public transit system, which will play a role in reducing the number of crimes against women. An effective combination of shared autos, metro feeder services and e-rickshaws will be used to provide efficient last mile connectivity by fixing and delimiting routes. This will be synced with metro and bus timings so that there is a working connection to each neighborhood from nodal points.
Status: e-Rickshaws were promoted in Delhi. The Delhi government announced a radio taxi service of its own called ‘City Taxi Scheme’, though the registrations have not begun yet. Bike on rent scheme is now available at some metro stations and a Global Expression of Interest tender floated for procuring feeder buses.
Promise No. 5: AAP plans to install CCTV cameras in DTC buses, bus stands and in crowded places as a deterrent against crime. AAP will ensure that women can go about their jobs in the city free of stress while travelling by public transport.
Status: A pilot scheme for installation of CCTV cameras in 200 DTC buses has been launched. The government is in the homework phase to formulate a city-wide policy for acceptable certifications and getting security clearances. By end of February, request for proposals are expected to be floated, for 4 lakh CCTVs: 3 lakh in residential and 1 lakh on PWD roads.
Promise No. 6: AAP will strongly push for the creation and completion of fast-track courts, which are dedicated to handling cases of sexual assault and other crimes against women. AAP will operationalize 47 new courts that it had commissioned in January 2014 to ensure speedy justice. If required, the courts will be run in two shifts so that the cases involving crimes against women are heard and trials completed within six months
Status: Only five fast track courts are functional in Delhi as of now. They are headed by judicial officers of the rank of Additional District & Sessions Judge ,and all of them deal with the cases of rape, sexual violence and molestation of women. They were set up by the Sheila Dixit government in the aftermath of the December 2012 gang rape case. AAP has seemingly not played any role in their establishment.
Promise No. 7: AAP will make Wi-Fi freely available in public spaces across Delhi. Citywide Wi-Fi can help in bridging the digital divide. It will also provide an impetus to education, entrepreneurship, business, employment, and also tie in with women’s safety initiatives.
Status: As of now, Delhi doesn’t have freely available WiFi. The government has conducted a study with PWC on various technologies. The first phase of services – that includes educational institutions and rural areas – is expected to be launched in the summer of 2016.
Promise No. 8: The government will provide a Suraksha/SOS button on every mobile phone, and will improve its connectivity to the police, nearest PCR van, relatives and volunteer community.
Status: Nothing yet.
While AAP has fulfilled about 23% of its 78 point agenda, it still has a long way to go in terms of its initiatives regarding women. We hope that the coming years see more of these promises being fulfilled.
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