BENGALURU: Pink buses are likely to make a comeback in the city with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) proposing to induct 47 of them under the Nirbhaya fund. BMTC has sought financial assistance of Rs 15.1 crore to induct 47 non-AC woman-only buses (over Rs 32 lakh each). The pink buses will have female conductors, GPS, CCTV facility and panic buttons to ensure safety of women passengers.In 2006-07, BMTC had introduced the buses exclusively for women. However, they were later withdrawn because of poor patronage. At present, no pink buses are run by BMTC, but it operates 12 woman-only trips during peak hours, mainly for employees of Vidhana Soudha. Officials said pink buses will operate on routes frequented by women passengers, particularly the garment workforce. There are about 750 garment factories in the city, employing 2.5 lakh women. BMTC officials said dedicated pink buses for women will ensure their safe and comfortable journey. “Despite earmarking a few seats in buses, many women passengers have been facing problems. These dedicated buses will ensure their safety, security and boost self-confidence. These will also improve our ridership,” said a senior BMTC official. BMTC recently introduced Pink Sarathi road patrol squads fitted with GPS and also changed in its buses the colour of women’s seats to pink to deter male passengers from occupying them. The transport utility wanted to deploy only women drivers in pink buses, but there is a shortage of those with HPV licences. At present, there is only one woman driver in BMTC. “We’ve started training women to acquire a heavy passenger vehicle (HPV) licence. We will hire 100 of them in the next year. The aim is to have equal number of male and female drivers in BMTC in the next five years,” added the official. Rs 56 crore sought Under the Nirbhaya fund, BMTC has sought Rs 56.1 crore assistance from the Centre to improve the safety of women passengers. Apart from pink buses, BMTC is planning to train women for acquiring heavy passenger vehicle (HPV) and light motor vehicle (LMC) licences, instal CCTV cameras in 1,000 buses and 38 bus stations, have dedicated lounges for women commuters, conduct gender sensitisation and women’s safety training for ground staff. The Nirbhaya fund was created in 2013 after a 24-year-old girl was gang-raped in a bus in Delhi in December 2012, to fund women safety initiatives by the government and NGOs. BMTC to invite celebs BMTC has decided to rope in celebrities to conduct awareness campaign for women’s safety. It is planning to launch campaigns like ‘Safer transport, city for all’ and ‘Together we can make our transport safer for women’ under the Nirbhaya fund. It will create awareness in schools, colleges, tech parks, cinema halls and on social media.