Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Transport Minister R. Ashok on Tuesday said norms will be drawn to introduce bus services on the basis of population just like provision of health services or education facility. Population-based public transport model would be one of the ingredients of the transport policy, which would be announced within a month, the Minister said.

Mr. Ashok was interacting with presspersons here at a “Meet the Press” programme organised by the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild and Press Club of Bangalore. A specific parameter of population would be arrived at to provide public transportation facility and bus operators, irrespective of whether state road transport corporations or private, would have to oblige the norm, he said.

More than the external pressure and lobbies, he had been facing pressures and lobbies from within the Department, the Minister noted. “The pressure groups and lobbies which have been thriving for a long time in the Department attempted to dictate the terms to me, but I have been able to overcome the same.” After a gap of 15 years, he was successful in recruiting 100 inspectors of motor vehicles, Mr. Ashok said.

GPS for vehicles

The Department was keen on putting the Global Positioning System (GPS) to use on public transport vehicles, especially stage carriages (route buses). Apart from putting the driver on notice, the device would be helpful in cases of accidents, the Minister said. It would also enable the Department to get to know the working hours of drivers and to check whether they were overburdened.

Mr. Ashok said the Department would introduce smart card-based driving licence and vehicle ownership records within a month. For this, computerisation work of the entire operations of the Department, including regional transport offices and border check-posts and interlinking them with the headquarters, was under progress.