3 new projects under Nirbhaya Fund approved

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New Delhi: In a major decision, the government has approved three new proposals under the Nirbhaya Fund on Friday.

The three new proposals are setting up fast track special courts, procurement of forensic kits in sexual harassment and assault cases and video surveillance systems at fifty railway stations in the country.

The decision to this effect, sources said, was taken by the Empowered Committee of Officers headed by Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava.

Officials said three ministries such as Law, Home and Railways were involved in the process.

According to sources, the Ministry of Law and Justice has proposed to set up 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expediting disposal of pending cases of rape and those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act across the country.

The project, in the first phase, will be set up in nine states. A total number of 777 FTSCs will be set up in the first phase.  In the second phase 246 FTSCs will come up. The budgetary allocation for the project is pegged at Rs 767.25 crore.

As regards procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases, the Home Ministry will kick-start a programme for creating awareness of the usages of such kits. The ministry has decided to take up training of trainers and capacity building of the programmes so that the purpose of the programmes are fulfilled.

These programmes will be conducted in different states and union territories, sources added. Training programmes will be held on forensics in sexual assault cases and state forensic science laboratories will be strengthened in due course. These programmes will be conducted under the Nirbhaya Fund. The financial allocation for such programmes will be Rs 107.19 crore.

The proposal under ministry of railways, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited will take up video surveillance system at 50 railway stations with a total project outlay of Rs 17.64 crore.

The  Ministry of Road Transport and highways and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) will be involved for customisation, deployment and management of tracking vehicles state wise.  The  Advanced Info Service (AIS) will be roped in for safety.

It is worthwhile to mention that after the gang-rape and subsequent murder of Nirbhaya in Delhi on December 16, 2012, it has imperative for the Union government to take measures to curb such inhuman activities. The Nirbhaya Fund scheme was announced in 2013 for the safety of women in the country.

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