TogetherVCAN’s SOCIAL SANCHAR with Dr. B. K. Upadhyay
In August 2014 we had launched our Trust V Citizens Action Network’s Web Portal www.togethervcan.in. The web portal has been very useful for bringing the government and people together. It has given a platform to the consumer to directly interact with the government officials through skype, emails and through sms.
The first Social Sanchar was held on 27th November, 2014 and our Guest Speaker was Dr. B. K. Upadhyay, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic. Dr. B. K. Upadhyay. In his opening remark he gave a background about the traffic scenario in the City. He also discussed various obstacles and problems faced by the Mumbai Traffic Police.
Over the past few decades the size of Mumbai’s population and the number of vehicles per square km has increased by 20% and 2.8% respectively. He also laid out the comparison between the traffic situations of Mumbai with that of developed countries. In a developed country there are hardly any traffic constables visible. A police official intervenes only in case there has been any traffic violation, and within a few hours of the violation the challan reaches the defaulter. Given the volume of traffic in Mumbai, such a system needs to be adopted but somehow it has not been implemented.
During the peak hours in the city, several junctions like Haji Ali carry almost three times of traffic than its actual capacity. Due to heavy traffic congestion, people end up suffering from tension, noise and air pollution. It is humanly not possible for a traffic constable to keep control on the traffic for such long durations. A major concern is the health concern of the traffic constable. Being stationed amidst heavy traffic constantly and at the street level, the traffic Policemen are prone to lung diseases.
He further added that, to succeed in efficient traffic management, the Mumbai Traffic Police have requested for 229 cameras for surveillance.
He went on to add that, there are a huge number of vehicles in the city and the number is increasing every year. The parking spaces outside buildings, schools and hospitals are inadequate thereby adding more pressure on the traffic situation.
As compared to other metros, presently, Mumbai Traffic Police manpower is much less, being about 3500 constables when it should be about 5000 constables. Keeping in mind, leaves and the number working hours only 1000 police personnel can be deployed at a time. All the important junctions also have to be covered and in many cases more than one or two policemen are required.
Dr Upadhyay also added that every month about 6000 cases related to traffic offenses have been resolved. Several of our drink and drive cases have been resolved and it has received appreciation from various quarters. There has also been a significant decrease in the number of accidents as compared to last year. He also highlighted that with the help of NGOs and other organisations many problems have been resolved to a large extent.
The Joint Commissioner assured that the problems related to traffic management will be resolved step by step.
Dr Upadhyay also took up many questions, only some are given below
Q. Sir you have said that you are clearing vendors from roads and footpath. Have you visited thebeat chowky to MahavirNagar link road? The 3 rows ofautorikshaws parking makes the 3 lane road a 1 lane road. Please clear the road.
Ans. I have already mentioned about the parking problem. As far as autorikshawsand taxis are concerned, there are about 75000 taxis and there is no fixed parking lot. Most of the taxi drivers are living in slums. Therefore we have requested the BMC for public parking lots. Double triple parking will not resolve the problem. I will look into it and see what can be done.
Q. No police has sufficient barricades it is all over the Mumbai city.Whether there is actual nakabandi or not? I have even filed an RTI.
Ans. My mobile number is circulated among all. You can call or sms me. If you see anything suspicious you can click a picture and email it to us. Nakabandi is a thumb rule for security. However, in Mumbai traffic is voluminous and we do not want to cause inconvenience to the public. We have also suspended various constables indulging in malpractices.
Q. Please help in stopping the menace of motorcycles at Nagawadi Street, Mumbai 3. They not only do wrong things but also threaten the general public who drive their cars in right direction.
Ans.We are also equally concerned on these issues. We are booking such offenders under IPC sections 279. 336. That person is arrested and his vehicle is seized. About 600 persons have been arrested.
Q. Why doesn’t the traffic police pressurise the BMC to smoothen out the potholes for easier traffic management?
Ans. We have been writing to the BMC for better traffic management. In our correspondence we have requested to look into the potholes as it is causing lots of problems.
Q. We have sent many letters to the previous CP about utter confusion and streamlining of traffic under Vakola flyover coming from the north bound road.
Ans. At present north bound construction is going on. That is why we have diverted the traffic. As far as Vakola flyover is concerned I will ask the police chowky to look into it. We will do the needful.
To view the video of the TogetherVCAN’s Social Sanchar, click here.
To view the photos of the TogetherVCAN’s Social Sanchar, click here.