Traffic management is not only ensuring smooth flow of vehicular movement but also of managing many other things. In view of a spurt in incidents of vehicle thefts and their smuggling from one city to another, movement of suspicious vehicles and ensuring hassle-free movement of ambulances are some of other tasks which keep traffic cops on their toes. In a city like Chandigarh, the job of traffic management is not so challenging, but certainly offers no room for any kind of complacency. “Traffic management is much better in Chandigarh if compared to other cities,” said Eish Singhal, an IPS officer of AGMUT cadre of 2010 batch, who is at the helm of traffic management in City Beautiful as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). He was transferred to Chandigarh in May from Daman Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli (DD&DNH). An MBBS from Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College, Amritsar in Punjab, Eish talks about his plans to streamline traffic management further and check the menace of road accidents in an interview with DAILYPOST SENIOR CORRESPONDENT JAGPREET SINGH SANDHU. Excerpts:
Jams have become frequent in Chandigarh. It seems that little efforts are being made to address this problem. How do you intend to surmount this malaise?
Ans: Traffic chaos usually occurs if there is some special event in the city or there is heavy rain fall when the cops move to some shelters or traffic lights get turned off. For any special event organised in the city, we deploy special traffic teams at the key spots to deal with the traffic blues and keep everything smooth. When there is rain, I have asked the cops to come out with rain coats and other rain protective items and manage traffic. All this has certainly improved traffic management quite effectively in the city, which will keep improving in the future too.
It is agonising indeed to see increase in the number of fatal accidents. How do you plan to curb this menace?
Ans: Maximum accidents occur when the vehicle riders are either drunk or over speeding. We have initiated efforts to have regular checking for drunken driving and over speeding across the city. The guilty are being challaned. We will intensify the checking to check the menace. It is very much on the top of our agenda.
What about fatal accidents which take place in the night?
Ans: We study every fatal accident. A team of Road and Accidents Analysis Cell identifies the root cause of the accident by going to the site and find out if there were any mechanical fault in the vehicle or the driver was drunk or the area needs some structural changes or if traffic cop were not present there at the time of accident. Following this, a report is made and remedial action is immediately taken.
With the installation of new traffic lights at several roundabouts, have the police been able to curb the menace of traffic chaos and fatal accidents?
Ans: We have 15 signals on roundabouts. For the past over 10 days we have been leaving traffic lights on blinkers at two roundabouts and others 15 red lights junctions to see if that helps improving the traffic flow.
It has been observed that more accidents are reported from the surrounding areas of the city. What is the reason?
Ans: Cops are deployed everywhere. However wherever a person sees there are wide roads and not many traffic lights, the driver exceeds his speed limit, thus inviting worse consequences. One must note that driving on roads is not a matter of luxury, but responsibility so that you are safe and others too. We need to inculcate this sense responsibility among us as well. Policing will get ineffective if the people do not co-operate in respecting traffic rules. We are also looking for incorporating certain changes to check accidents, which are attributed to certain structural flaws.
There are innumerable instances where traffic cops have been alleged of taking bribe and spare the violators of traffic rules. How are you going to deal with this challenge?
Ans: It is a serious problem. We are planning to put up cameras at all check-posts and also fix a body camera on the uniform of cops. The video recording will bring transparency in the functioning of cops and will also help to find out if cops are at fault in challaning a person or not. We will have cameras which will be useful not only during day time but also in the night.
So, one should look for better traffic management in days to come?
Ans: Of course! We plan to make city much safer for commuters. I will also request the people of Chandigarh to drive carefully and obey traffic rules to help us making the City the best so far as traffic management is concerned. I have been posted in Delhi and a few other states too. In Chandigarh, people obey traffic rules and listen to cops, which is a positive point. Still there is a scope for improvement in Chandigarh for which we are already on the job.
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