Delhi considers proposal for GPRS in buses

CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Delhi Government is considering a proposal submitted by the PHD Chamber of Commerce to install General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) systems in both the private-run Blueline as well as the state-run DTC buses.

This move comes in the face of increasing fatalities involving Blueline buses. Delhi police records said there have been 6000 instances of serious breach of regulations and every single bus of the 4500 fleet has been banned at least once in the past year.

The lack of integrated data of the Bluelines and the operators also has made life difficult for the State government officials to bring them under the law.

Sanjay Bhatia, president of PHD Chamber said that the process to install GPRS system is simple. It requires the installation of a black box in every vehicle with a back-end support of comprehensive data of the vehicles, including the name of the owner, route, and other details.

“We have suggested this to the Delhi government and also met the principal secretary and the chief minister in this regard. The chief minister told us that the system was already in use in DTC (buses) but is considering the same for the Bluelines,” he said.

The PHD Chamber proposed the project as part of its CSR initiative. It believes that the GPRS system will help in monitoring violations by the drivers and instant penalties through a computer generated penal matrix of fine linked to the type of violation.

“We had also proposed this IT supported Intelligent Public Transport Management System for solving traffic problems of the metropolitan city at a meeting with the senior functionaries of the Delhi Government recently. This also reflects our commitment to usher in the much needed commuter-friendly, safe and world class transportation system,” Bhatia said.

The project, to be implemented in the PPP model will cost about Rs.150 crores annually for the next 10 years without any direct cost to the Delhi Government.

Bhatia said that the cost will be recovered from the advertisement rights on traffic intersections.

TCS to chip in

Indications are that TCS, which was part of the PHD Chamber delegation, will be implementing the project. The TCS solution is expected to streamline the transport system, eliminate subjectivity and corruption.

“We have also proposed issuing of a smart card to drivers, which will automatically record violations and cancellation of the driving license after three defaults. The system would also enhance the efficiency of the Traffic Police. The system, through installation of RFID cards, will further help in checking and preventing over-loading of goods carriers, unauthorized plying of interstate vehicles in the city, control movement of vehicles in high security areas, feed data to a dedicated radio channel airing traffic update round the clock to help people avoid congested roads to make their travel smooth,” Bhatia added.

The PHD proposal has also mooted the idea of installing CCTVs at various locations in the city to bring about discipline, apart from assisting the police in maintaining law and order, efficiency and timely attention to accidents and emergencies.

“It will also help collate data for estimating the traffic volume for better traffic planning, apart from linking police stations and check posts on a Wide Area Network (WAN),” he stated.

Killer buses

Blueline buses operated by the private sector in the capital city has claimed close to seventy lives, apart from injuring about 1000 people till date this year, and it is only increasing as days pass-by.

The number of victims who fell victim to rash driving was 100 last year and 150 in 2005.

For the Delhi government it is a matter of concern to discipline the killer Bluelines. The measures of taking the buses off the roads has only worsened the transport situation in a city which is spread over 1000 sq. kms

The Delhi Government had pulled-out the fleet of Bluelines for over two weekends late last month to scrutinize the speed and the conditions of the buses. But to no avail, yet again the spate of deaths continue, as people continue to die as they try to board or get off the bus, while it is moving.

These Bluelines drivers seldom bring buses to a halt at bus stops, compelling commuters to board and alight from moving buses. According to bus drivers, they do so to increases the profitability and the number of journeys they make in a single day.