In a bid to ensure safety of commuters, especially women, closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in city buses in Sambalpur.
The Paschim Odisha Paribahan Company (POPCO), which has partnered with Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) to run the city bus service on a PPP mode, has installed the CCTV cameras in 10 buses in the first phase.
Chief Executive Officer of POPCO, Bipin Bhatia, said they had submitted a proposal to WOUTSL, which is the Government body to monitor city bus service in Sambalpur, to install CCTV cameras in all the city buses. WOUTSL agreed to the proposal and as they will take some time to implement it, POPCO has installed the cameras in 10 buses from its own expenses, he said.
“The WOUTSL has agreed for installation of the cameras in the rest 19 buses soon. We have also decided to set up a control room to keep a watch on camera feed,” he said.
“Presently, we have installed the CCTV cameras in eight buses running on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route and two buses on Sambalpur-Bargarh route. While three cameras have been fitted in each of the two city buses on the Sambalpur-Bargarh route, each bus on Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route has one camera,” he informed.
It will not only help in instilling a sense of safety among the commuters, especially women, but also help in monitoring buses and keeping an eye on the unscrupulous elements like eve-teasers, Bhatia said.
Besides, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) will be installed in the buses to get a comprehensive picture of the vehicle’s location and proper management of the fleet. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via internet or specialised software. The VTS will help locate the bus, Bhatia added.
The city bus service, which was launched in Sambalpur on January 29 last year, received enthusiastic response. Currently, 29 city buses are plying on 11 different routes and people are being encouraged to opt for public transport.