Vehicle tracking device and panic button now mandatory for all buses and taxis in Maharashtra
This is expected to allow authorities to track the location, speed and other details of the vehicles with a single click. However, there is no clarity on its implementation.mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2018 10:49 IST
The notification – which was issued on November 28, 2016 - was brought into effect on Monday. VTS and panic button, together, comprise the intelligent transport system (ITS). This is expected to allow authorities to track the location, speed and other details of the vehicles with a single click.
Accordingly, RTO officers across the state refused to register new vehicles that had not installed the ITS system
3.70 lakh existing vehicles will have to install the system, transport officials said. The cost of purchasing and installing the device is around Rs10,000 - 12,000. Moreover, monthly fees are around Rs100-400, depending on the various facilities.
Two-wheelers, auto rickshaws, and other such commercial vehicles that do not require permits have been exempted from the regulation.
According to the notification, the devices are to be fitted by either the manufacturer or the dealer. However, RTO officials have said that there is a lot of confusion regarding installation of the devices in existing vehicles.
“The transport commissioner’s office did not issue clear directives. It simply just asked us to implement the notification in December,” said a senior RTO official.
The transport commissioner’s office said that they have written to MORTH seeking clarity. “We have not received any communication from MORTH yet,” said the official.
AL Quadros, taxi union leader, said, “The regulation will be an additional burden on cab drivers who bought vehicles in March. They were unaware about the new rule.” Quadros said that they would protest the decision.
“Even after calling on multiple numbers, the police never arrives on time. What guarantee do we have that the police will arrive immediately after passengers hit the panic button?” said Harsh Kotak, a bus operator.