| Smarter Way to Travel |
Jan. 29: The Union urban development ministry has asked Dispur to immediately implement intelligent transport systems (ITS) in all city buses.
Sudhir Krishna, secretary, ministry of urban development, has written to the chief secretary and principal secretary of Assam, saying that all buses, whether bought under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) or those operated by private owners, should implement the system.
“I would request you to direct the officials concerned to take immediate action for implementation of ITS specifications as per urban bus specifications in all the city buses, JNNURM as well as non-JNNURM, under the advice of this ministry,” the letter said.
The ITS is the deployment of advanced information and telecommunication technologies to enhance safety, efficiency, reliability, user and environmental friendliness of the transport system. It helps integrate management of various roadway functions and predicts traffic congestion and alternative routing through advanced traffic management systems; provides data to travellers in their vehicles or home on road or weather conditions with advanced traveller information systems.
The ITS specifications are part of the urban bus specifications that the ministry had framed in December 2008 “to replicate the metro experience on city buses and to upgrade the quality of public transport.”
The directive comes in the wake of the Delhi rape incident. The ministry said the case has drawn national focus on safe public transport in all the cities, especially for women and children.
The ministry has sent the letter to other states as well, saying that most cities in the country do not have reliable, comfortable, quick and affordable public transport. It expressed unhappiness over the failure of state governments to implement the ITS specifications in JNNURM buses despite repeated reminders.
The state government runs around 185 buses received under JNNURM. Besides, more than 1,000 private buses ply in the city.
The urban ministry also expressed concern over the lack of safety measures in taxis and autorickshaws.
The ministry has asked the states to follow the example of Ahmedabad, where an initiative in scientific management of autorickshaws, named G-Auto, has been launched by Nirmal Foundation.
“It is important to fix GPS/GRPS on all autorickshaws and manage them through a common control centre on similar pattern as radio taxi. The fare calculation can be based on GPS, thus obviating the complaints of over-charging. The periodic fare revision can also be effected from the control centre,” the ministry said.