The decision to finalise a framework for the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is likely to be delayed because of increased terror threat in India. A draft framework on ITS has been circulated by the Ministry of Urban Development to various ministries, with security being cited as a major area of concern. The National Security Advisor will have to take a call on it, ministry officials said.
ITS refers to the use of new technology like mobile phones and the worldwide web to guide traffic within a city. This means that once the system is in place, one can get mobile alerts while driving, indicating the routes with high traffic congestion and suggesting alternative route.
It also means toll collection can be made electronically, which can enable one to drive through toll gates without facing a traffic snarl. In case of an accident, an in-vehicle emergency e-call can be generated to the nearest emergency point. The system can also provide information about parking space at any location in the city.
The system is futuristic, but increased terrorist activity in India has cast a shadow on it. The fear is that terrorists can access information each moment on traffic trends in a city. They can know where the traffic is most congested so as to cause maximum damage.
Officials also fear that the central control room — from where the entire ITS facility of a city will be coordinated – can become a target of a terror attack, exposing the city to great risks. Keeping the risks in mind, the implementation of ITS may now be postponed for some more time.
The state-of-the-art system is one of the prime objectives of the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006. The ministry had also suggested to the Delhi government that ITS could be implemented during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.