Delay in identifying agency for project implementation

The much-touted plans of the district administration to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) and issue Radio Frequency Identification and Detection (RFID) cards to students have come to nothing owing to delay in identifying an agency for the execution of the project.

The decision to introduce the security system was taken by the then District Collector P.B. Salim in 2011, but the proposal lost steam with his transfer from Kozhikode to West Bengal.

For all school buses

The GPS facility was planned to be introduced in all school buses as a practical solution for parents, school authorities, and the Motor Vehicles Department to keep track of the movement of school buses and the speed at which they travelled. The RFID cards were to enable parents to get SMS updates on the entry and exit of their children from the buses.

The actual decision was to establish a secure GPS surveillance network, with an exclusive server, all over north Kerala beginning with the school-level initiative linking over 1,000 vehicles in Kozhikode district.

There was also a proposal to connect this facility with heavy goods carriages in the district in a phased manner. But the proposal to set up an independent server remained neglected even after it was projected as a basic requirement.

Exclusive server

Experts had said that an independent and exclusive server was a must for a trouble-free and secure operation of the facility.

The plan to get the system running with free services available on the Internet was dropped mainly owing to this reason.

Though the Motor Vehicles Department later contacted Kerala State Electronic Development Corporation Ltd. (Keltron) to discuss the possibility of implementing the project, things did not make progress.

Department authorities said they did not receive any formal communication from Keltron on the project. Private agencies were kept away to avoid controversies over the government initiative.