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GPS-based tracking system for all public transport vehicles from 2022 in Puducherry, India

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The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) in India has authorized an outlay of ₹3.25 crore (over $430,000) to the Union Territory of Puducherry for establishing a GPS Monitoring Center in accordance with its guidelines. The fund will be used for setting up the infrastructure, development, customization, deployment, and management of State-wise Vehicle Tracking Platform for safety and enforcement as per the specification under the ‘Nirbhaya framework’ (a set of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country). As many as 14,000 public transport vehicles will be tracked once the GPS Monitoring Center is put in place by the Transport Department.

This measure is aimed to enable officials to monitor transport vehicles across the territory from the control room. Motor vehicle inspectors and officials of the government-owned Puducherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) will be able to know the exact location of stage carriers and inter-state vehicles.

According to the Transport Department, there are as many as 1,127,940 vehicles on the road in Puducherry, of which about 14,481 are public transport vehicles. While all new vehicles registered with the regional transport offices in the territory from January 1, 2019 are mandated to be fitted with GNSS, the vehicle location tracking device and emergency button shall be retrofitted by vendors approved by MORTH for the older vehicles which were registered before January 1, 2019. They will be equipped with panic buttons that will send out alerts upon pressing during emergencies, speeding, rash driving, and also in the case of harassment.

“The government has finalized the System Integrator (SI) for the tracking system through tenders. The SI, expected to be ready from January, will provide backup monitoring and help with the support system for a period of two years. A sum of ₹1.35 crore ($180,000) sanctioned by the Centre will be retained by MORTH for Cloud and Dashboard support,” A.S. Sivakumar, Transport Commissioner, Government of Puducherry was quoted saying.

The GPS Monitoring Center is supposed to be up and running by February 2022 after which the government is expected to come out with a notification making GPS and panic button installation compulsory in all public transport vehicles except auto-rickshaws.