The Odisha government is all set to make installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and global positioning system (GPS) mandatory in passenger buses, Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi said on Wednesday.
Stating that the transport department has proposed to insert two sub-rules in the Odisha Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993, Majhi said the initiative would ensure the safety of passengers, particularly women passengers.
“Every holder of stage carriage permit shall install a CCTV and GPS in the vehicle duly certified by the Regional Transport Officer and keep such CCTV and GPS in good condition,” the draft rules state.
It further says that every holder of stage carriage permit shall intimate in advance to the state transport authority and regional transport authority about the name and address of the driver, conductor and helper.
The police report, regarding the antecedents and character of the bus staff, would also be furnished before their engagement, said the draft rules.
It has sought objections or suggestions from the people regarding the new rules by May 23.
Even though the Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (OPBOA) welcomed the installation of CCTV cameras in their buses, they opposed certain provisions in the draft rules.
“We have no problem with installation of CCTV in buses, which will also help to ascertain the number of passengers in the buses. But, it is difficult on the part of a conductor to keep track of each passenger,” said OPBOA secretary Debendra Sahu.
He said the installation of GPS in buses is not feasible as the buses would not be able to adhere to the timing allotted on a particular route.
Presently, about 15,000 private buses and 426 government buses ply on various routes in the state.