Location tracking devices mandatory for public service vehicles from next year

The government has mandated that all new public service vehicles, except auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws, registered on and after 1 January 2019, will have to be equipped with Vehicle Location Tracking (VLT) devices with emergency buttons. 

This regulation is being brought in to ensure safety of passengers, especially women, an official release stated. 
The VLT device manufacturers would assist in providing the back end services for monitoring, the ministry of road transport and highways stated in a notification issued on 25 October.
In the case of older public service vehicles – those registered up to 31 December 2018, the respective state/ union territory governments will notify the date by which these vehicles have to install Vehicle Location Tracking device and panic buttons. The ministry has sent an advisory to the states in this regard.
The ministry has also notified the operational procedure for implementation of VLT-cum-emergency buttons. The states or union territories are required to ensure execution of this order and check fitment and functional status of the VLT device in the public service vehicles at the time of checking of the vehicles for fitness certification, the release stated.
Command and control centres will be setup by the state or VLT manufacturers or any other agency authorised by the state government, and these centres will provide interface to various stakeholders such as state emergency response centre, the transport department or regional transport offices, ministry of road transport and highways and its designated agencies, device manufacturers and their authorised dealers, testing agencies, permit holders, etc. These centres will also provide feed to the VAHAN data base or the relevant data base of the state with regard to the over speeding, device health status.
The details of each VLT device will be uploaded on the VAHAN database by the VLT device manufacturer using its secured authenticated access. The VLT device manufacturers or their authorised dealers will install the VLT devices in public service vehicles and register the devices along with details of vehicle on the corresponding backend systems on real time basis.
Owners of public service vehicles have to ensure that the VLT devices installed in their vehicles are in working condition and regularly send required data to the corresponding backend system through cellular connectivity.
VLT device manufacturers will get their devices tested for conformity of production every year after the first certification, from the testing agencies referred to in rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
The testing agencies will upload the details of the VLT devices certified by the month eVAHAN data base. They will also update the status relating to conformity of production on the VAHAN database.
States or union territories will publish Internet Protocol address (IP address) and Short Message Service gateway (SMS gateway) details of their respective emergency response system where VLT devices will send the emergency alerts on press of emergency button.