People’s suggestions to be incorporated in final report
Feasibility of PPP model for implementation of traffic management plan to be considered
Bus owners urged to install GPS devices as soon as possible
MANGALORE: The Government will be ready with the draft of the comprehensive traffic and transportation plan for the city in a month, Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj has said. Public discussion and debate could take place in March.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Road Safety Week here on Wednesday, Mr. Ponnuraj said that people’s suggestions would be consolidated and incorporated in the final report. Apart from offering workable solutions for the traffic woes of the city, the plan would also explore fund mobilisation options for the implementation of the plan.
The option of following the much touted public-private partnership model would also be considered.
Quoting a popular saying to describe the general state of traffic in the city, Mr. Ponnuraj said, “The more we change, the more we remain the same.” Expressing disappointment with the futility of the remedies introduced recently in the city to improve the traffic situation, he said that that a recent drive to cut down traffic violations had also had no effect.
The drive, which was conducted with the participation of the Regional Transport Office and the police, in November and December, involved heightened vigilance and imposition of strict punitive action.
“The action has not deterred those who violate traffic regulations with impunity. Despite our best efforts, the general public is not feeling any perceptible change,” he said.
Pointing to the traffic woes in the central business area of the city, Mr. Ponnuraj said that the epicentre of the problems was the service bus stop near the State Bank. “This bus stop needs to be shifted soon. It is the only way we can manage the burgeoning traffic problems in the centre of the city,” he said.
GPS data compilation
He also stressed the need for the installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in buses. Blaming bus owners for delaying the installation, he said that such a system would greatly aid better traffic management.
He also said that once the GPS systems were installed, there would be no punitive action on bus drivers during the first year.
In this period, the officials would only compile and analyse the data collected by the system, he said.
Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao urged the city’s residents to make the best use of the Road Safety Week to highlight traffic problems and send their suggestions to the district police.
Highlighting the acuteness of the traffic problems in the region, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B. Hosur said that more lives were lost in the district due to traffic accidents, than murders and suicides put together. “71 per cent of all accidents are caused by negligent driving,” he said.