The State Transport Authority (STA) in Odisha signed an MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for the development, management and operation of vehicle location tracking (VLT) application.
Under the Nirbhaya scheme for women’s safety, the Central government has made vehicle location tracking system mandatory for public transport vehicles and goods vehicles to enhance the security of women and children while travelling in public transport.
Accordingly, the Odisha government has made installation of VLT devices with panic buttons mandatory for all new commercial vehicles to be registered on or after January 1, 2023 and the vehicles registered on or before December 31, 2022 will have to comply by March 31, 2023.
For this purpose, the BSNL, under its ‘Vahan Suraksha’ model, will develop, deploy, integrate and commission a vehicle location tracking software for tracking and monitoring of vehicles covered under the project, said an official.
The organisation will also develop mobile applications for various stakeholders and users and commission Geographic Information System (GIS) map for vehicle location tracking systems, he said.
State transport commissioner Arun Bothra said the objective of the project is to introduce a tracking system as required for the implementation of central notifications for continuous monitoring of public transport vehicles for the safety of passengers, better road safety and better support for enforcement services.
This will also help in keeping track of public buses running as per the permit, he said.
A command control centre is being set up in Bhubaneswar to track the vehicles plying across the state.
The 24×7 integrated command centre will use both Global Positioning System (GPS)-based vehicle tracking and the GSM/GPRS channel for triggering emergency alerts.
The common emergency toll lines, motor vehicles wing, the police control room and related enforcement units will be looped into a real-time data sharing network with the command centre functioning as an interface for stakeholder agencies, said Dhananjaya Senapati, additional commissioner transport (technical).
He said the government of India has approved vendors to fit VLT devices and panic buttons. The state will publish the standard operating procedure (SOP) for empanelment of these vendors within a few days.
Accordingly, these vendors will be empanelled and they will start affixing the devices to both new and old vehicles, Senapati said.
Except auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws, all passenger transport vehicles, including both government and private buses, school and college buses and cabs/taxis will be equipped with VLT panic buttons for the safety of women and children.
All goods vehicles operating under the strength of national permit and all goods vehicles transporting explosive and hazardous materials will also have to install the VLT devices.