In a path-breaking move, an MoU has been signed by the State Transport Authority (STA) with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for development, management and operation of vehicle location tracking (VLT) application in Odisha.
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.
As a result, the Odisha government has mandated that all new commercial vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2023, must be equipped with VLT devices with panic buttons. Commercial cars registered on or before December 31, 2022, must comply by March 31, 2023.
— State Transport Authority, Odisha (@STAOdisha) October 20, 2022
According to an official, the 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.
According to him, 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.
Speaking at the event, state transport commissioner Arun Bothra said the objective of the project is to introduce a tracking system as required for implementation of central notifications for continuous monitoring of public transport vehicles for safety of passengers, better 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.
BSNL STA MoU : Command and Control Center to be set up in Bhubaneswar
In order to track the trucks travelling around the state, a command and control centre is being set up in Bhubaneswar. Both GPS-based vehicle monitoring and the GSM/GPRS channel will be used by the 24-hour 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).
Senapati said the government of India has approved vendors to fit VLT devices and panic buttons. The state will publish the standard operating procedure (SOP) for empanelment of these vendors within a few days. Accordingly, these vendors will be empaneled and they will start affixing the devices to both new and old vehicles, Senapati said.
Except auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws, all passenger transport vehicles, including both government and private buses, school and college buses and cabs/taxis will be equipped with VLT panic buttons for the safety of women and children.
All goods vehicles operating under the strength of national permit and all goods vehicles transporting explosive and hazardous materials will also have to install the VLT devices.