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To monitor drivers,AMTS to install biometric system at terminuses

After a Newsline probe revealed that drivers of private buses attached to the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services were driving with Auto rickshaw and Light Motor Vehicle licences,the authorities have taken a call on private bus operators.

Written by Ujjwala Nayudu | Ahmedabad |
March 4, 2009 1:44:10 am

After a Newsline probe revealed that drivers of private buses attached to the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services (AMTS) were driving with Auto rickshaw (AR) and Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) licences,the authorities have taken a call on private bus operators.

AMTS will install biometric programmes in all the 12-bus terminuses in Ahmedabad. It has also issued warning letters to private bus operators to submit their licences to AMTS. Pravin Patel,Chairman,AMTS told Newsline: “It has become a question of our reputation. I do not want people to distrust AMTS because of a few reckless drivers. The ones who have AR/LMV licences have no right to drive public transport buses.”

He added: “We have issued letters to all private companies to produce their drivers’ licences to us. I am even ready to scrap the buses of companies who do not submit their licences soon. The ones with AR/LMV will be suspended.”

He also admitted to the malpractices of private buses at the terminuses. He said: “We have sadly come to know that private bus drivers do not carry licences on duty and exchange their duties with other drivers. Hence,four to five drivers end up driving on one bus route a day,and later claim money for full shifts. We had a meeting with the transport managers on the licence issue of private bus drivers. To solve this,we have decided to install Biometric Programme in all terminuses where their attendance is taken.”

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According to Patel,the Biometric Programme will first prepare a database of all the private bus drivers. The entire bio-data of the drivers and complete details of the licence (number,date of issue and renewal period) will be entered into the database,which will then be fed in the systems of all AMTS terminuses.

Explaining the mechanism,he said: “Under the biometric system,we will install machines to take thumb impressions of the drivers. A driver has to give his thumb impression before and after his duty hours. Additionally,every four hours,when he reaches any terminus,he has to again give his thumb impression. With this we will know whether the same driver or someone else was driving the bus. This will also record the attendance,drivers’ duty hours and even their salary will be paid on the basis of the recording in this system.”

He said the biometric system will not give a chance to the drivers to drive without licences and exchange their duties freely with other drivers. “With a thumb impression,they cannot cheat us. The database will have all their details. As such,they cannot violate any rules,” he added.

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The AMTS is now in talks with the Traffic Department to address the issue of licences and road behaviour.

Joint Commissioner of Police Atul Karwal said: “The AMTS drivers definitely need training. Maintenance checks of the buses are equally necessary. The signage boards on the roads need to be put in a better condition so that the drivers and public can follow them easily. Besides,the AMTS has its inspection team which can do a regular checking of licences. But if the AMTS needs our help,we are ready to provide them the support.”

Karwal had reportedly also requested the AMTS to introduce dresses for private bus drivers.

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First published on: 04-03-2009 at 01:44:10 am

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