YK Poudel  

Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers has been placed in 197 public transport buses in the country and Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) can now monitor their movement.

Information and Communications Minster, Karma Donnen Wangdi launched the service yesterday coinciding with the 11th Royal Wedding Anniversary.

A total of 250 GPS devices were procured paying Nu 1.6 million.

The minister said that such new IT systems would ensure road safety, reduce traffic rules violations, and as well as help with regular updates.

According to an RSTA official, Ugyen Norbu, the new system will help deliver secure and efficient public services. “Public will be able to track buses through the RSTA web portal.”

The system provides the authority with real-time information on the safety of a particular passenger bus plying along different routes. Traffic rules violations such as speeding can also be monitored. The road inspectors will monitor the buses to ensure they are on time.

Moreover, the general public will also soon be able to access the portal through RSTA website once public access is provided. They can also make anonymous complaints if in case, while they are on the bus.

The data collected through the new system will be stored in Government Data Center (GDC) at Thimphu Tech Park, which can be used for framing policies.

RSTA is also planning to install GPS trackers in taxis with proper consultation with Bhutan Taxi Association.

As per the executive director of the association, Tshewang Penjor, the installation of web-based GPS in taxis will help in solving the problem of malpractices such as inaccurate taxi fares based on the distance travelled. However, the association is not ready to welcome the plan.

“The association has planned and proposed for camera installation in taxis which can maintain the security of the driver as well as the passengers,” he said.

The upgraded electronic Registration and Licensing Information System (e-RaLIS 2.0), audio-visual material on road safety, and RSTA’s Annual Report 2021-22 were launched during the ceremony.