The project to equip all DTC and cluster buses in the capital with CCTVs and GPS — which dates back to December 2012 — is likely to finally take off, with the Delhi government deciding not to wait any longer for financial assistance from the Centre — from the Nirbhaya Fund.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told The Indian Express that a private consultancy firm recently submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the project, and the government will soon float a tender. “The Delhi government will go ahead if money from the Nirbhaya Fund is not granted,” Gahlot said.
The project had run into controversy earlier this year, when the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development had expressed its unwillingness to release Nirbhaya funds for CCTVs in buses, and questioned the overall efficacy of the proposal.
Gahlot also took on the Centre over the issue, saying its attitude reflects its “non-seriousness about the safety and security of commuters, especially women”.
In June 2017, the Delhi Cabinet had approved the proposal. A statement was issued saying the Rs 140 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund, a corpus formed by the Centre after the 2012 Delhi gangrape, will be used to execute the project.
The Delhi government’s 2018-19 annual budget document had also mentioned that the project will be implemented using money allocated from the Nirbhaya fund, with the state also chipping in with its own share.
A senior transport department official said consultancy firm Ernst and Young (EY) recently submitted its final DPR, which is currently pending with Gahlot for his approval. “After the approval, the tender documents would be prepared,” the official said.
While the initial plan was solely about CCTVs, the installation of GPS was also added, another official said. There is a likelihood that the proposal to equip buses with WiFi will also be brought under the same project.
“A single bid is likely to be invited for all three features. One company will not have the expertise in all three areas, so the lead company which wins the bid will hire other firms, if needed. But importantly, one firm will be in charge of maintenance of all services,” said the official.
Under the project, three IP-based CCTVs would be installed in every bus and a display screen would telecast the output. The feed will be accessed and viewed in real-time from a control centre set up by the transport department.
“The data will be stored, monitored and analysed at the centralised command and control centre that will be established as part of this project. CCTV feed of a particular bus will be activated once there is an alarm through panic buttons, which will be installed separately,” an official document states.
Delhi currently has around 5,500 buses. Around 3,900 come under the DTC fleet, while the rest are under the cluster scheme run by DIMTS. The DTC is in the process of inducting 1,000 more buses on a “co-ownership” model, while a proposal to buy 1,000 buses for the cluster scheme is stuck in the Delhi High Court.