In an interaction with Christin Mathew Philip, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hithendra, talks about challenges and plans to decongest Bengaluru Traffic congestion is the talk of the town. What is your strategy to decongest the city?
Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles in the city, but there is no corresponding improvement in road infrastructure. There are two types of congestion -- natural and artificial. We don’t have any control over natural congestion, which is due to the increase in the number of vehicles. But, artificial congestion such as wrong parking, bus breakdown, accidents and water stagnation can be stopped. We are monitoring almost every road in the city from the Traffic Management Centre to ensure unhindered vehicular movement.
How effective it is to stagger work timings and car-pooling?
We are not promoting car-pooling services launched by private firms. We have requested IT companies not to start their shifts at same time and they could start some minutes later. For instance, if one company has a 8.30 am shift, then another one in the same area can start at 8.45am. People going to and leaving office at same time creates severe traffic congestion especially on IT corridors.
Many motorists are complaining about the increasing number of one-way traffic in the city
There are 193 one-ways in the city. This is a temporary solution as the one-ways can only shift traffic from one road to another. We are making one-ways to distribute congestion to other nearby roads as some roads can no longer handle the present volume of traffic. We understand that it creates some inconvenience to motorists, but we don’t have any other alternative.
The Union cabinet has recently approved a proposal to hike the fines on traffic violations by up to 10 times. But some motorists fear that it may increase corruption.
We will soon procure 50 body-worn cameras to bring transparency. Most traffic policemen in the city don’t take bribes as they are aware about the new technology and smart phones which may film their action on cameras.
How is shortage of traffic police affecting enforcement of traffic rules?
Nearly 1,000 traffic policemen are expected to join by the year end. We are now mostly dependent on automated cameras to book violators.