Over 6L vehicles in Karnataka, only 1,109 affix trackers, panic buttons

The transport department has set the deadline as September 10 for all the vehicle owners to fall in line.
Image used for representational purpose only,
Image used for representational purpose only,File photo | Shashidhar Byrappa

BENGALURU: Of the over 6 lakh vehicles in Karnataka, not even 1% have affixed the mandatory vehicle location tracker devices and emergency panic buttons.

After the Nibhaya incident, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) mandated the setting up of location tracker devices and panic buttons in all the public service vehicles like buses, cabs (including the ones run by aggregators), maxi cabs, school buses, and all goods vehicles with national permit.

According to the data available with the Karnataka transport department, there are 6,04,863 vehicles and of this, a mere 1,109 vehicles have followed the norm. The transport department has set the deadline as September 10 for all the vehicle owners to fall in line.

Asked about the poor response, an official from the transport department said, “Many vehicle owners have not fallen in line as they are not aware that the rule is mandatory. We are creating awareness and urging the vehicle owners to install the device. We have identified empanelled vendors from where vehicle owners can get the device installed and the same will be updated on the Vahan portal.”

The official said that the measure is taken to keep the passengers safe. “In case of any emergency, the passenger or driver can hit the panic button, which will alert the command centre set up by the transport department at a cost of Rs 20.4 crore. The team at the centre will respond to the emergency alert by tracking the vehicle’s location and get in touch with the vehicle owner or driver. In case the situation demands, the police will also be alerted,” the official added.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that for those vehicles that do not fix the tracking device, their fitness certificates will not be renewed adding that this way they will ensure that everyone falls in line.

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