GPS installation: 600 more vehicles yet to fall in line

Deadline for fixing tracking devices to end on June 15

Around 600 educational institution vehicles in Kochi that failed to install Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers will have to fall in line before the June 15 deadline.

“For now, GPS devices have to be installed in vehicles by June 15. We have not yet received any directive from the government on whether more time can be allowed,” said Joji P. Jose, Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Ernakulam.

The government had to stretch the deadline to June 15 after inspections by the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) found that most educational institution vehicles had failed to comply with the directive demanding that GPS devices be installed before schools reopened on June 6.

In Kochi, only around 100 of the 700-odd educational institution vehicles had passed the MVD’s safety test held before a section of schools reopened on June 3.

Meanwhile, school managements claimed that the tracker devices were not installed owing to the delay in completing formalities. At the same time, several managements cited the shortage of devices for not being able to meet the deadline.

“We have also come across reports on the shortage of equipment. Daily checks on vehicles that are yet to install the system have been put on hold in view of the June 15 deadline,” said Mr. Jose.

The device, estimated to cost ₹15,000, will enable parents, school managements, and government authorities to track the movement of vehicles and their speed. It comes with an emergency button that helps in sending alerts to the configured IP address. In the absence of GPS network, alerts will be sent as SMS along with vehicle location data to the configured control centre number.

With the government approving 23 companies for supply of GPS equipment, the minimum prices being quoted seem to have dropped to between 8,000 and 9,500 thanks to competition. However, a dealer at Kakkanad said GPS devices continued to be in short supply as companies had cut production.

The implementation of the project, which has been pending for more than six years, is mandatory for aided, unaided and government institutions. Only approved government agencies will be allowed to fit the device, comprising embedded SIM cards, in vehicles.

Installation certificates will be issued to vehicles after a final inspection by the MVD. School authorities will be responsible for the timely replacement of damaged devices within 24 hours.

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