One-way roads for these traffic cops

Changes were made by the traffic dept thrice in a month sans mandatory approval of experts
Multiple changes in one way routes with in one month, De cember to January, baffled commuters and locals travelling through Viman Nagar. Now, it has been revealed that the former Yerwada traffic division in-charge had implemented the one-way traffic system on several roads without a technical survey from experts.The change, which was supposed to be made according to the Indian Road Congress (IRC) norms, was a knee-jerk reaction by then traffic division incharge because of alleged pestering by citizen groups. The revelation that the decision was taken without any expert advice was made after Qaneez Sukhrani, convenor of Viman Nagar Citizens’ Forum came to know about it under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. She also managed to get information that the decision was taken by then Yerwada traffic division in-charge, inspector H T Kumbhar, and current in-charge inspector Bajirao Mole. She alleged that the decision was implemented after receiving positive responses from people through WhatsApp.

“In the RTI, the traffic police admitted that all the decisions were taken after suggestions from people and categorically mentioned that all the recommendations were passed by then traffic division in-charge. The police are not experts of traffic management, hence they were supposed to take expert help by carrying out a technical study on the routes in Viman Nagar,“ said Sukhrani. She also raised the issue with the Pune traffic deputy commissioner of police (DCP), alleging that the decision was arbitrary and was an attempt to shield the encroachment on the roads by hawkers and illegal parking by private cabs. However, Kumbhar, former traffic in-charge, claimed, “It is true that no help was taken from experts, but it was in the planning stage when I was transferred.“ While Mole, currently incharge of Yerwada traffic division maintained, “Kumbhar, myself and inspector Rangrao Kamire of the traffic administration had conducted a survey on the stretch before changing the plans. Though we do not have an academic background of traffic management, but we know the ground reality better than any traffic planner.“

Many groups, including Viman Nagar Residents’ Association (VNRA), Viman Nagar Citizens Forum (VCF) and Viman Nagar Development Council (VNDC) requested the traffic police to change the current traffic system and make the major roads one-way. Political parties, especially Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had also joined them.

When asked, Dr Kalpana Baravkar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said, “In Viman Nagar, we had not hired a traffic expert, but made changes only after making experiments on a trial basis. Changes were made after taking people’s suggestions. We collected opinions from housing societies. Now the issue has been resolved. We have also considered Sukhrani’s opinion.“

Source : TOI