New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Friday issued a fresh notice to traffic police over cases in which two women had to deliver babies in public vehicles due to traffic snarls in the city during last year's Indo-Africa Summit.
Expressing unhappiness over traffic police's response to her earlier notice, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said that inconveniencing of pregnant women and posing danger to them is not a trivial issue for the Commission and sought a fresh response within two days.
"I note that in your response to our concerns regarding the safety of pregnant women, you have stated that 'minimum inconvenience' was caused due to the traffic diversions.
"You have also stated it is 'concluded that neither of the cases can be attributed to any disruption caused by VIP movements'," Maliwal said in the notice to Special Commissioner (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.
Noting there may be a "huge probability" that the woman having to deliver on a DTC bus was solely due to congestion caused by VIP arrangements, the Commission told traffic police that it "regards (their) explanation as inadequate".
"You have stated that Sarai Kale Khan case had nothing to do with VIP arrangements but this is because you have adopted a very narrow definition of the zones affected -- as limited only to those areas where the traffic movements were diverted."
"However, you have failed to pay heed to the repercussion of such a diversion on the rest of the city," Maliwal said.
On Chander's earlier response that "no severe traffic jam was reported in the city on the said day in October last year" and that since deliveries are often unpredictable, these two specific instances "cannot be legitimately attributed to the temporary traffic restrictions", Maliwal said the the media reported severe traffic jams in the city that day.
The DCW chief also attached several media reports to support her stand.
In its earlier notice, the Commission had also sought the copy of the norms and standard operating procedures adopted by Delhi Traffic Police during VIP movement along with the list of VIPs for whom such traffic restrictions are imposed.
"It is upsetting to note that you have termed these points 'irrelevant' as all 'due diligence is always kept'. However, details of what entails due diligence have not been shared with us.
"Since Delhi Traffic Police embarks on cordoning-off roads for VIP movement on a regular basis, it is only expected that they have standard operating procedures they will be willing to share... In not providing us these details, you have led us to suspect that perhaps such a procedure does not exist," said Maliwal.
A 20-year-old woman gave birth to a girl in a public bus near southeast Delhi's Sarai Kale Khan area while a 28-year- old woman delivered a baby boy in an autorickshaw near east Delhi's Khajoori Chowk allegedly due to traffic snarls in the city when the Indo-Africa summit was underway here in October last year.