Honouring the finest district magistrates in India
TUKARAM MUNDHE, NAVI MUMBAI
Forty year old Tanaji Kamble, a Mumbai municipality employee, is happy that the frequency of buses in his area has improved. For Savita Sawant, 36, a homemaker, finding the nearest bus stop has become easier since she installed a new mobile app on her phone.
Residents of Maharashtra's Navi Mumbai area, Sawant and Kamble say the introduction of the real-time data-driven Integrated Intelligent Transport System (IITS) by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has eased their travel woes.
In March 2017, Tukaram Mundhe, then municipal commissioner of the Navi Mumbai civic body, launched the HTS system with an objective of 'sustainable urban mobility'. Some of its key modules include an Automatic Vehicle Location System, Passenger Information System, a mobile application for citizens, a Command and Control Centre, an incident management system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, Planning and Scheduling Management and Business Intelligence systems, among others.
On August 21, Mundhe was among 15 district magistrates to be honoured with The Indian Express Excellence in Governance Awards that celebrated the finest work done by DMs across the country.
"The challenge was not the creation of an app, but an integrated service for every stakeholder passengers, bus operators, administrators etc. That's how I came up with the plan for an intelligent traffic management system, where an app can inform every passenger about when a bus is arriving, if it is on time or if there has there been a break down," Mundhe said after receiving the award
Navi Mumbai Municipal CommissionerTukaram Mundhe receives the award from Union Minister for Law and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad.
As part of IITS's Automatic Vehicle Location System, GPS was installed on 448 buses that make 4,000 daily trips. The system helps track the vehicles' routes and check if they have speed away without stopping at any of the designated bus stops. The Automatic Fare Collection System gives live reports about fare collections, while the Planning and Scheduling Management system gives information about bus routes and staff duty.
The HTS has a control room in Belapur.
"In March 2017, there were 35,000 cases of buses skipping stops. Now, the problem has gone down by almost 50 percent. Also, compared to last year, there has been a 15 percent increase in the number of passengers taking buses," said Shirish Aradwad, general manager of Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport, the transport wing of the Navi Mumbai civic body, adding that the new system has led to an increase in the monthly revenue from Rs 10.50 crore in May last year to Rs 11.50 crore in August.
Though Kamble, the Mumbai municipality employee, says he does not use the app, "it helps that the LED display at the Nerul bus stop shows information about buses." In March 2017, five LED display units were installed in the Navi Mumbai area as part of the Public Information System. Now, there are 75 such units.
Sawant, the homemaker, says that while the mobile app is good, it needs improvement. "It doesn't tell us if the bus is late. Also, the app does not have any option to register complaints," she says.
Aradwad said a feedback option would be made available to passengers soon.
Sameer Bagwan, a member of the Transport Committee of the Navi Mumbai civic body, says the system has not been fully implemented, leading to some issues. "At times, the mobile app shows false location of buses because it is not fully developed. Once completely operational, it will be the best system," says Bagwan.
Aradwad said they have been fixing some of these issues. "Soon, we will launch a Navi smart card for people that can be used for ticketing and shopping too. It will take 10-15 days for trial and then it will be launched."