The city’s traffic police lament that despite providing civic authorities with detailed drawings for infrastructural changes to streamline pedestrian movement, little is being done

It is the city traffic police that bear the brunt in the absence of a proper footpath network. They regret that though the civic authorities concerned are provided with detailed drawings for infrastructural changes to streamline pedestrian movement, and numerous coordination meetings are held, the progress has been slow.

Traffic police have to primarily keep the carriageway clear and facilitate the movement of vehicles, and in this endeavour, footpaths, commercial activities on them and illegal parking are often viewed by many as obstructions to ‘traffic’, according to Additional Commissioner (Traffic) Amit Garg.

Vending policy needed

While the power to regulate commercial activity on footpaths rests with civic authorities such as the GHMC, the absence of a proper vending policy on the ground is clearly felt, said a senior traffic police officer on condition of anonymity.

“While various vending zones have been demarcated, providing identity cards to vendors and regulating the activity for the benefit of both motorists and vendors have proved to be a non-starter,” he added.

Traffic police say that it is far easier to regulate the carriageway and heavy traffic movement if only clear guidelines with regard to pedestrians and vendors are put in place with concerted efforts by all government departments.

From the perspective of traffic police, pedestrian movement becomes a problem when people “cross the roads at will. This can be discouraged only by creating infrastructure to cross roads safely at frequent intervals along with putting up barricades even on road medians,” he explained, even as stating that making such changes was in the hands of the civic authorities and not traffic police.

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