Legislating KMTA Act need of the hour, say experts

*The news story published on The Times of India, quoting CPPR Chairman, Dr. D. Dhanuraj’s remark on prerequisites for legislating KMTA Act.

KOCHI: With Cochin Smart Mission Ltd (CSML) gearing up to execute the integrated traffic management system (ITMS) and introduce an integrated command, control and communication centre (IC3), experts points out the need to enact the Kerala Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) Act. “For executing ITMS and IC3 projects, CSML will have to ensure coordination of various agencies such as district administration, Kochi corporation, city police, transport department, motor vehicles department (MVD), PWD and other road owners. Only if the Act comes into effect, it will be possible for these projects to take off effectively,” said a Kochi Metro official.

ITMS will ensure smooth operation, management and monitoring of traffic systems in the city. Though traffic police and MVD currently have surveillance systems, the data generated is mainly used for enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

“Once ITMS is effectively implemented, it will be possible to track vehicle movement, traffic congestion, operation of public transport services, including number of services and timing, passenger movement and the like. It will be possible to make special arrangements for emergency vehicles to pass without interruption even during times when there are heavy traffic and blocks,” added the official.

ITMS envisages setting up of automatic signal control systems, traffic management centres, signalling systems for pedestrians, corridor management, dynamic traffic indicators and camera surveillance. It will also help in the implementation of road safety measures.

Implementation of IC3 project will facilitate integration of various systems that will enhance safety and security and improve various public services.

It will facilitate single window for various citizen services like bill generation and payment for utilities like water and power and also aid travel planning and redressal of grievances through online platforms. It would also help in processing of rehabilitation packages, continuous city surveillance and installation of CCTV cameras. “Unless there is an effective coordination between various arms of the government, these efforts will not be successful,” said a Kochi corporation official.

City-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) is of the view that ITMS and IC3 projects require compilation and analysis of data sourced from various departments.

“In many cities, where the system has been implemented, there are controversies regarding the ownership of data generated through ITMS and IC3,” said CPPR chairman D Dhanuraj.

*This news story can be also read at The Times of India’s website.

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