WCD Ministry announces three proposals under Nirbhaya Fund

New Delhi: The Ministry of Women and Child Development on Thursday announced three more proposals for women’s safety and security, with a major focus on the safe city project, Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) and a Central Forensic Science Laboratory under the Nirbhaya Fund.

The decisions were taken at the 14th meeting of an Empowered Committee of Officers here, chaired by WCD Ministry Secretary Rakesh Srivastava. The Ministry was made the nodal agency for maintaining the Nirbhaya Fund in 2015.

The Ministry said that the Safe City project is a major new initiative with a budget of Rs 2,919 crore. It has been prepared in coordination with Municipal Corporations and Police Commissionerates of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow.

A model forensic science lab will be set up in Chandigarh entailing an expenditure of Rs 99 crore.

“The proposed lab will help address gaps in DNA analysis in sexual assault cases pending in the country. At present, there are six central forensic labs (Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, and Bhopal) and one state forensic lab in each state/UT,” the Ministry said.

ERSS or panic button application installed on mobile phones to ensure emergency response to women in distress will be launched in Uttar Pradesh in March 2018.

“The panic button will send signal to the nearest police control room and selected friends/family, identifying the location through satellite-based GPS in an emergency. This has been integrated with 112 number — Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) — in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs,” it added.

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