Maharashtra government extends deadline for fitting safety devices in public transport
According to the transport department, an estimate of over 3.5 lakh public transport vehicles in Maharashtra, excluding autorickshaws, will be required to install VTS and panic buttons.Updated: Jul 18, 2019 06:38 IST
The transport commissioner’s office of Maharashtra has deferred the plan to make vehicle tracking system (VTS) and panic buttons in public transport vehicles like taxis and buses registered in the state mandatory.
The transport commissioner’s office requested the state to extend the deadline for the implementation of the safety devices to 2019-end, as the necessary infrastructure to track the vehicles is not ready and a service provider has not been appointed yet.
On July 15, all regional transport offices (RTO) were directed not to insist on these security gadgets on old public transport vehicles at the time of renewal of their fitness certificate.
The union government has made these gadgets mandatory for new public transport vehicles since January 1, but the state government had given six months’ relief to old vehicles. This deadline expired in June, but has now been extended to the end of the year.
VTS allows authorities to locate the vehicle’s location using the global positioning system (GPS) and will make it possible for authorities to monitor speed and reckless driving. The panic button will allow passengers to seek immediate help from authorities in case of an emergency.
According to the transport department, an estimate of over 3.5 lakh public transport vehicles in the state, excluding autorickshaws, will be required to install VTS and panic buttons. All types of new taxis and buses already come fitted with these devices.
According to transport department officials, the infrastructure is not likely to be ready, even before the year-end, as tenders have not yet been invited for a service provider to run the facility. The service provider will be responsible for tracking the vehicles fitted with VTS and ensuring that the police control room gets an immediate alert if any passengers use the panic button. “The process of preparing a request for proposal is on,” said Shekhar Channe, transport commissioner. A senior RTO official said that some RTOs in the state had stopped issuing fitness certificates to taxis and buses which were not fitted with VTS and panic buttons. “Vehicle owners will get a huge relief thanks to the extended deadline,” he said.
First Published: Jul 18, 2019 06:38 IST