Karnataka: Soon, women's PGs must register

Spate of recent incidents forces state govt to ensure security of women in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru: Concerned over the recent spate of attacks on women in the city, the state government is exploring measures to beef up security at PG accommodation for women.

A high-level meeting of officials, experts from various departments and the BBMP recently discussed ways to enhance safety of women residing in PGs. One of the suggestions was that all PGs should be compulsorily registered, even those having less than 12 residents, which do not need a licence.

It also called for checking the antecedents of owners running PGs and recording them at registration office and local police station. Similarly the background of all PG residents has to be recorded and maintained in the PG.

The current Act for licencing needs to be amended to make it mandatory for all PGs. Currently it is necessary for those housing more than 12 residents.

The PGs are expected to provide decent living space with adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities. Those providing meals should maintain quality.

The officials, however, cautioned that while boosting security at PGs for women, it should not turn into jails, but should allow for time flexibility and safety against any untoward incident.

PGs are also supposed to have a doctor on call. It was decided that PG operations manual would be developed for proper running of PGs.

A committee will be set up with the departments concerned, recognised women' organizations, women's rights activists etc to serve as a monitoring body to ensure that the PGs are functioning as stipulated

In the meeting it was also discussed to set up a neighbourhood group that will help to check any kind of anti-social activities, such as sale of drugs, etc, but also ensure there is no moral policing.

Shilpa Raut, a native of Uttarakhand staying at a PG in Koramangala, said measures can be suggested, but concrete steps have to be taken to ensure PGs become safe for women. "Making plans and talking big is ok," she said. "People were talking of these things a decade ago," she said.

Her friend Suchitra chips in and said, "It is true that PGs must be regulated and watched by the law. It is time some concrete actions are taken like installing CCTVs or something to that effect."

Women staying in PGs said it is time some concrete action is taken to regulate PGs and make them safer. A PG operations manual could be the answer, provided it is put into practice.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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