Mumbai: In a welcome step taken by the Transport Ministry, it will be mandatory for all the public transport vehicle owners to install GPS tracking system and a Panic Button in their vehicles. “From 1st April 2018, passenger transport vehicles including taxis and buses are to be mandatorily equipped with GPS devices,” tweeted Transport Ministry on Wednesday.
The decision will be laid on all public transport vehicles like taxis, buses but 3-wheelers auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws have been kept out of this mandate. “3 wheelers have been kept out of these mandatory installation of GPS and alert button since they are open. Passengers are more vulnerable in vehicles with closed structure,” an official told media. Initially, the ministry proposed CCTV cameras installed in public transport buses with more than 23 seats but was dropped due to privacy breaching.
According to the plan, the state transport department will bear the responsibility to bring in a system to respond to the panic button alerts. It is said that on pressing the alert button, the police and the state transport department will get an alert for their quick response.
We must say that the ordeal of the daily public transport commuters will almost come to an end after the implementation of GPS and alert button in the public transport vehicles. However, we strongly believe that bringing in a rule is not enough, ensuring the system in place is fruitful for it’s beneficiaries must be the goal of such strategy making bodies. Let’s wait and watch if the state transport department implements this mandate effectively in their state.