Authorities unwilling to put initiatives into action due to the ‘uncertain political situation’

For months, traffic officials have been working on various projects like using Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) with credit card swipe facilities and installing latest traffic signalling system under the Hyderabad Traffic Integrated Management System (HTRIMS) to streamline the city traffic.

There are about five such projects waiting in the wings that can usher in a complete change in traffic management in the city, but authorities are yet to hit the green signal putting them into action due what they term as the ‘current uncertain political situation’ in the capital, which is otherwise engaging the complete attention of the higher ups and the political leaders.

The traffic police has already acquired 10 tint-o-meters, more than 20 latest breath analysers and completed advanced field trials of the PDAs with card swipe facilities.

The officials have also procured five speed laser guns, trained the personnel in using them and identified vehicles to mount them.

Earlier, the department had only one functional speed laser gun because of which policemen were finding it difficult to check the incidence of over-speeding on the city roads.

Apart from these, the ambitious multi-crore HTRIMS project is yet to see light as that too is awaiting a formal launch.

And the revamped Traffic Training Institutes too are ready to play greater role in educating the public but are on hold.

Police authorities have also drawn up plans to educate the public about importance of following traffic rules in a big way.

“A lot of effort went into identifying the problems, procuring the equipment to address these problems and train our personnel in using them. When pressed into action, these new schemes can change the way traffic is managed in the city radically,” a senior police official said.

Some of the initiatives like facilities to pay fine amount on the spot by swiping a card and providing an e-challan with photographic evidence will be implemented for the first time in the country, the official claimed. While equipment and personnel are ready, the officials have been busy for various reasons.

“Starting from Vinayaka Chaviti festival to the current political storm brewing in the city, the police are being kept on toes without a break. Because of this it is becoming difficult to launch the projects,” the official admitted.

There is a need to educate the public about these new initiatives but in a surcharged atmosphere where people are preoccupied with the latest political developments, the import of these initiatives might be lost if they are pressed into action immediately, the official observed. However, the question of whether traffic police should go ahead with a soft launch of these initiatives remains unanswered.

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