Confusion over GPS rule registrations: MoRTH

The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has mandated vehicle location tracking (VLT) devices and emergency buttons in all public transport vehicles.

BENGALURU: While Aero India 2019 has pushed up the demand for cabs, particularly luxury ones, registration of new taxis in the city appears to have taken a hit. Cabbies say vehicles aren’t being registered, citing lack of vehicle location tracking and emergency buttons. The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has mandated vehicle location tracking (VLT) devices and emergency buttons in all public transport vehicles, including buses and taxis registered from January 1, 2019. However, taxi unions say the transport department is ill-equipped to implement the rule and there are only a few recognised vendors selling these devices which are charging over Rs 10,000.

Confusion over GPS rule hits taxi registrations

Confusion over GPS rule hits taxi registrations: MoRTH

The state government recently wrote to the Centre seeking extension of the deadline to July 31. MoRTH, however, is yet to respond to the plea. “Infrastructure establishment and legal provisioning would require some more time. Hence, it is requested that six more more (up to July 31, 2019) be granted to implement the notifications and guidelines as issued by MoRTH,”’. deputy secretary (transport department) K Beeresh’s letter to MoRTH read.

Many drivers complained that despite the government’s letter to MoRTH, regional transport office (RTO) officials were insisting on VLT devices and panic buttons in new taxis. K Radhakrishna Holla, president of Bangalore Tourist Taxi Operators’ Association said: “The transport department is not registering new taxis without VLT. Many tourist operators are struggling because of the new rule.” Holla said there is a huge demand for cabs for the upcoming aero show. “The new vehicles will miss the opportunity to serve the important event due to the delay,” he added.

“Registration for six of my cars is pending since January. Earlier, the transport department assured that VLT device would cost Rs 10,000 each, but now private vendors are demanding Rs 15,000 each. I have to shell out about Rs 1 lakh to install VLT device for six cars,” said Jagadeesh H, who operates Big Travels. “The delay has cost me a lot. I have already paid two EMIs and also can’t operate vehicles for the Aero Show. About 1,500 cabs in the city are yet to be registered because of this rule, but there appears to be no clarity,” he added.
L Hemanth Kumar, additional transport commissioner, told TOI they haven’t received any direction from MoRTH or the state government on this so far. “We will extend the deadline once we receive a notification,” he added.

“I will check with MoRTH and the transport department on Friday,” added Beeresh. However, the transport department is yet to set up a command and control centre to monitor movement of vehicles.

Karnataka has one lakh buses and 3.3 lakh taxis.


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