Social Sanchar with Mr. Amitesh Kumar and Mr. Satish Sahasrabudhe on 4th January 2018

January 4, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Royal Bombay Yacht Club
Apollo Bandar
Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

V Citizens Action Network held its first Social Sanchar of the New Year on the 4th of January, 2018, at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Colaba. Unlike most previous occasion, there were two speakers, Shri Amitesh Kumar, IPS, Jt. Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Mumbai Police, and Shri Satish Sahasrabudhe, Addl. Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra.

As the main focus of the Sanchar was Road Safety and its implementation in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, having two speakers representing the two main government agencies that deal with Road Safety presented an invaluable opportunity.

The program began with the formal release of VCAN’s 2018 Calendar by the two speakers, and fittingly, as every month was associated a specific theme, the theme for January was Road Safety itself.

After Mrs. Indrani Malkani, Managing Trustee of VCAN, gave a brief introduction of the Social Sanchars, she explained the difference between road safety and traffic management and highlighted some of the problems faced.

Mrs. Malkani then proceeded to mention how the student volunteers from various colleges including VCAN’s Collaborating College Partner, Jai Hind College, were playing a key role in their Road Safety Campaign. She also appreciated the efforts of the Rotaract Club of Bombay, as well as VCAN’s Founding Partner – Eureka Forbes, Venue Partner – Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Technology Partner – Teknowlegion Video Technology Partner – April Broadcast Pvt. Ltd., Collaborating College Partner – Jai Hind College.

After a brief introduction of the speakers by Mr. V. Ranganathan, Trustee of VCAN, and a former Chief Secretary of Maharashtra and Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, Mr. Amitesh Kumar took the stage.

Mr Kumar started his discussion by thanking Mrs. Malkani and VCAN, and stressed on the importance of the partnership of VCAN and the Mumbai Police. He took the audience through a presentation that showcased some salient features about Traffic Management in Mumbai, the issues faced by the Police, the issues faced by the public, and some solutions which the Traffic Police is implementing.

He then spoke about new upcoming projects such as the Dedicated Bus Lane, Metro projects and Integrated Ticketing System, and their short and long-term impact on traffic patterns in the city. This was followed by a discussion on the challenges faced and possible solutions. He also spoke about modernisation in the system like E-Challans, High Tech Breathalysers, and the implementation of a cashless system. An introduction to the MTP app was given as well. After felicitating the young Traffic Guide Volunteers, he encouraged the members of the audience, both at the Venue and online, to enrol as Traffic Guides and devote at least two hours of their time to the cause of Road Safety.

After Mr Kumar shared his words Mrs Malkani then thanked the members of the Rotract Club of Bombay and its President Mr. Ramesh Narayan and Director Mrs. Tara Deshpande.

Mr. Satish Sahasrabudhe, Addl. Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra, then took the floor. He began by introducing the Regional Transport Office (RTO). He spoke about his history, and the functions they perform, including issuing Driving Licences, issuing Certifications of Vehicles among others. He spoke about the new Centres in places like Nashik, Pune and Baramati, and the check-posts that they had set up all over the State.

Among the other topics he touched upon were Vehicular Pollution, particularly exhaust emissions, and their Anti-Honking Campaign.

The floor was the thrown open to questions from the audience as well as those watching online, and a record number of questions had ben received by the organisers via SMS and Twitter before the event.

To a question on ‘No Parking’ Boards, Mr. Kumar informed the audience that they signified that the entire stretch of road was not meant for parking, but he also admitted that due to a shortage of signs, they generally do not enforce this too harshly if there is no sign near the car, unless it is blocking the flow of traffic.

The issues of two-wheelers also came up, and Mr. Kumar said that they were taking stringent action against those flouting the traffic rules. Both speakers also mentioned that new street furniture and signage would be coming to the City in the coming months.

Several points relating to School Buses were also raised and answered, as were issues about Uber and Ola.

The final topic discussed was bought up by Mr. Ranganathan who enquired about strategies to reduce pollution.

The event concluded by a promise to work in partnership and a vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Malkani. This was followed by Mr Ranganathan and the other Trustees of VCAN presenting a memento on behalf of VCAN to Mr. Amitesh Kumar and Mr. Satish Sahasrabudhe after which the audience was invited for tea and refreshments provided by the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

To view the photos of the event click here.

To view the video of the event click here.