RTC fails to install GPS in buses
RTC fails to install GPS in buses. Ministry of road transport and highways, ministry of railways and other ministries have pledged themselves for ensuring women’s safety in public transports.
Mandatory under Nirbhaya Act, but cites lack of funds for the lapse Only 50 out of 3500 running buses have GPS devices
MMTS and suburban buses trains have GPS devices
Ministry of road transport and highways, ministry of railways and other ministries have pledged themselves for ensuring women’s safety in public transports. In projects undertaken under the Nirbhaya Fund for Women Safety, the ministry of road transport had directed that all the public transport vehicles must have GPS devices installed by tomorrow, February 20. However, only 50 running buses in the city have GPS devices. The RTC authorities said that plans were in place and were waiting for funds.
The government has set a deadline for public transport vehicles running in major cities with a population of over 10 lakh to install Global Positioning System (GPS) devices by Thursday, February 20. According to the ministry of road transport and highways circular, owners of public service vehicles were required to get GPS installed in their vehicles by February 20, 2014, failing which necessary action as deemed fit should be taken against the defaulters. This directive was in line with the Nirbhaya Fund for Women Safety project.
However, the project has been going on a snail’s pace in the city. There are nearly 4000 plus bus services and 121 Multi Modal Transportation System (MMTS) that constitute bulk of the public transport. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has successfully tested the pilot project of installing GPS. And, it is operating only 50 buses that were installed with GPS in the city between Koti and Kukatpally. But, unfortunately, the project has been stalled at the experimental stage.
“We had planned to install GPS system in 3500 buses on a pilot project basis. 1600 buses of them are under JnNURM. However, we couldn’t implement it as funds weren’t released under JnNURM scheme. With regard to the remaining 1900 buses, the ministry of roads and transport also hasn’t released funds yet. We would implement the same, as and when funds are received,” said a senior official with APSRTC.
“Now, with no funds and Thursday as the deadline, it would be impossible for us to execute the plan. We do not know the consequence but we have been kept waiting, since always” he added.
Two other proposals for women’s safety under the Nirbhaya Fund included the Railway Ministry’s proposal to launch a public scheme for setting up a SoS alert system in trains in select zones. Unlike the APSRTC, railways had everything in place. “We have implemented the GPS system in all the 121 MMTS in the city and also suburban trains. We are waiting for the guidelines from the ministry of railways with regard to implementation of the same in other trains,” said K Sambasiva Rao, chief public relations officer, South Central Railway.
In January, the cabinet committee on economic affairs had approved the Rs 1,405 crore project to track and monitor public transport and provide alarm buttons for the alerting authorities. The project involved setting up of closed circuit television (CCTVs) and using GPS to ensure safety and security of women in distress. A national level vehicle security and tracking system and city command and control centre were also part of the project.