BENGALURU: While the mounting problem of traffic outside malls haunts city residents, you would be surprised to know that the malls were raised without seeking any clearance from the traffic police department.
Acquiring a no-objection-certificate from traffic personnel following clearance from civic agencies is a norm followed for setting up shopping malls in most metro cities. However, the Bengaluru Traffic Police claim that they have not signed a single NOC for building a mall so far.
BBMP officials say that mall developers are required to submit a Traffic Management Plan to the traffic police and get an NOC. But it is rarely followed since it’s not mandatory.
To plug this loophole, BBMP officials are mulling amendment of existing laws apart from making mall developers contribute towards building infrastructure such as flyovers for easing congestion. They too believe that commercial establishments like shopping malls are largely responsible for traffic snarls in the city.
Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) R Hithendra admitted that traffic police have no say when civic agencies grant permission to build malls.
“I have not signed any NOC for establishment of shopping malls yet,” he said.
Experts say shopping malls are drawing more people than the actual capacity of a road and locality. Involvement of traffic police will ensure whether the road has the capacity to handle the extra traffic. In some malls, a major portion of parking space is being used for other purposes, forcing motorists to wait on road.
“Permissions for the buildings covering 20,000 sq m and above are being given by the state-level environmental impact assessment authority. But buildings less than 20,000 sq m are the major violators, who don’t take any permission from the traffic police,” said traffic expert M N Srihari.