Signing of a memorandum of understanding between Odisha Transport Authority and BSNL regarding vehicle tracking application

On Thursday, the State Transport Authority (STA) of Odisha and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish, manage and use a Vehicle Location Tracking (VLT) application. In order to better protect women and children while using public transportation, the central government has made vehicle location tracking technology essential for cargo vehicles and public transportation vehicles under the Nirbhaya Women’s Safety Scheme.

Details about the new contract

The Government of Odisha requires all new commercial vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2023, to have VLTs with panic buttons installed. Vehicles registered on or before December 31, 2022 must comply by March 31, 2023.

BSNL will create, distribute, integrate and operate vehicle location tracking software for this purpose in order to track and monitor vehicles covered by the initiative under its ‘Vahan Suraksha’ model. In addition, the organization will also commission a Geographical Information System (GIS) map for use in vehicle location monitoring systems and the development of mobile applications for various stakeholders and consumers.

State Transportation Commissioner Arun Puthra said the project goal is to implement an as-needed tracking system to implement 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 tracking public buses that operate according to the permission.

In order to keep track of vehicles traveling across the state, a command and control center is being set up in Bhubaneswar. Both the GSM/GPRS channel and GPS based vehicle monitoring will be used by the integrated command center around the clock to send emergency notifications.

The command center will serve as the interface for the concerned agencies, and all joint emergency toll lines, vehicle ward, police control room and related enforcement units will be connected to the real-time data sharing network, according to Dhananjaya Senapati, Additional Transportation Commissioner (Technical). According to him, manufacturers can install VLT devices and panic buttons with the approval of the Indian government. In a few days, the state will release a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to designate these vendors.

For the safety of women and children, all passenger vehicles – except for motorized rickshaws and e-rickshaws – including government and private buses, school and university buses, and taxis/cabs – will be equipped with a VLT panic button. VLT devices must be installed on all cargo vehicles driven under a national permit authority and on all cargo vehicles transporting explosives and hazardous materials.

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