On Thursday, the State Transport Authority (STA) in Odisha and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the creation, administration, and use of a vehicle location tracking (VLT) application. In order to improve the protection of women and children while using public transportation, the Central Government has made vehicle location tracking technology necessary for goods vehicles and public transportation vehicles under the Nirbhaya scheme for women's safety.
Specifics About the New Contract
All new commercial vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2023, are required by the Odisha government to have VLT devices with panic buttons installed. Vehicles registered on or before December 31, 2022, must comply by March 31, 2023.
BSNL will create, distribute, integrate, and commission a vehicle location tracking software for this purpose in order to track and monitor the cars covered by the initiative under its "Vahan Suraksha" model. Additionally, the organisation would also commission a Geographic Information System (GIS) map for use in vehicle position monitoring systems and develop mobile applications for various stakeholders and consumers.
State Transport Commissioner Arun Bothra said the project's goal is to implement a tracking system as needed for implementation of central notifications for continuous monitoring of public transportation vehicles for passenger safety, improved road safety, and better support for enforcement services. According to him, this will benefit in keeping track of public buses operating in accordance with the permission.
In order to track the vehicles travelling around the state, a command and control centre is being set up in Bhubaneswar. The GSM/GPRS channel and GPS-based vehicle monitoring will both be used by the round-the-clock integrated command centre to send out emergency notifications.
The command centre will serve as an interface for stakeholder agencies, and the common emergency toll lines, motor vehicles wing, police control room, and related enforcement units will all be connected to a real-time data-sharing network, according to Dhananjaya Senapati, additional commissioner of transportation (technical). According to him, manufacturers can install VLT devices and panic buttons with the approval of the Indian government. Within a few days, the state will release the standard operating procedure (SOP) for appointing these vendors.
For the safety of women and children, all passenger transport vehicles—aside from auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws—including both government and private buses, school and college buses, and cabs/taxis—will be fitted with VLT panic button. The VLT devices must be installed on all goods vehicles that are driven under the authority of a national permit and on all goods vehicles that transport explosives and hazardous items.