Date: October 03, 2023. — In a bid to address concerns and clarify the selection process for Vehicle Location Tracking Devices (VLTDs), the State Transport Authority (STA) of Odisha and BSNL convened a meeting with manufacturers.
The meeting aimed to foster transparency and ensure a fair selection process for VLTDs. This play a pivotal role in modernizing the state’s transport infrastructure. The STA, responsible for regulating and governing transportation in Odisha, has faced scrutiny and allegations. These allegations pertain to favoritism in the selection of VLTD providers.
Since June, the STA has started requiring VLTD makers to self-test. Six of the 12 manufacturers were unable to pass the self-testing process. The disqualified manufacturers claimed that they had manipulated the server.
Representatives from prominent VLTD manufacturing companies, including local and national players, were present at the meeting. The gathering provided a platform for the STA to address concerns. It also shed light on the selection criteria, evaluation process, and compliance standards expected from VLTD manufacturers.
STA, BSNL, and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) began investigating the claims after receiving them. They discovered that the manufacturers were unable to configure VLTD devices in accordance with the necessary requirements. They also found that the manufacturers did not carefully watch the three-day self-testing process.
During the discussions, manufacturers had the opportunity to voice their concerns and seek clarifications regarding the selection process. Topics such as technical specifications, pricing, and quality standards were thoroughly discussed. The STA assured manufacturers that it would take their feedback and concerns into account in the final decision-making process.
A manufacturer must register for the test online and show up on the designated day with a VLTD device and car. Moreover, manufacturers must log into the VLTD state back-end software to monitor the self-testing after it has started. According to STA sources, STA receives the findings only after completing the entire test.
Earlier STA guidance requires all new cars intended for public transportation, registered on or after October 1, to have installed VLTD of AIS 140 requirements. Must install the gadget and panic buttons in older vehicles that registered on or before September 30 by December 31. Owners of vehicles may select any VLTD from the list of authorized, state-approved manufacturers.
The STA is expected to finalize the guidelines for VLTD selection in the coming weeks, marking a significant step toward modernizing transportation infrastructure in Odisha while ensuring a fair and transparent procurement process.