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Traffic police did ‘fine’ on B-TRAC project

Special Correspondent
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Against Rs. 124 cr. spent on project, it collected Rs. 194 cr. as penalties

(From left) Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem, CiSTUP Chairman T.G. Sitharam, City Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji, and Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T. Suneel Kumar at a function to release the evaluation study in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Gopinathan
(From left) Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem, CiSTUP Chairman T.G. Sitharam, City Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji, and Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T. Suneel Kumar at a function to release the evaluation study in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Gopinathan

The State government’s B-TRAC project was found to be on the “right track” by an evaluation study carried out by Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) of Indian Institute of Science (IISc.). It revealed that the Bangalore City traffic police had collected a fine of Rs. 194 crore in the last five years against the Rs. 124 crore spent on the project.

The B-TRAC project was launched five years ago to improve the traffic scenario in the city by using advanced technology. The penalty for traffic violations had reached a high last year when Rs. 53.85 crore was realised.

Funds for traffic police

Chairman CiSTUP T.G. Sitharam, after releasing the findings of the study here on Wednesday, recommended that the traffic violation penalties be made available to the traffic police for further improvement of infrastructure and technology.

The CiSTUP, which conducted the pros and cons of the B TRAC, submitted a report to the government.

The study, which found many improvements in the city's traffic after B-TRAC (Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project) was implemented in 2007, found that the project made a remarkable change with the adoption of new technologies such as Blackberry handheld sets, surveillance cameras and digital cameras for policemen.

“The project in itself is a self-sustainable model and in the last five years generated fines to the amount of Rs. 194 crore as against a spending of Rs. 124 crore. The fine amount if given to BTP can be used for more such projects and upgradation, said Prof. Sitharam.

He added that in a city with 4.2 million vehicles 72 per cent of which are two-wheelers, enforcement could be a very difficult task.

Suggestions

Making a few suggestions for improvement of the traffic conditions in the city, Prof. Sitharam suggested no vehicle zones inside the city with alternative means of transport like electric buses.

“At least for 4 hours in a day, some areas could be made vehicle-free. Another suggestion is the restriction on the purchase of a second hand car by a person,” Prof. Sitharam said.

On the Urban Development Ministry writing to all States asking them to consider implementing Congestion Tax in cities, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem said such tax should be considered not just for the Central Business Districts but for areas with high traffic density such as IT belts in the city.

Mr. Saleem said some of the criticisms raised in the study released on Wednesday would be taken into account in this year B-TRAC.

“There are some issues with consistency of signage and too many signboards in one place creating confusion. We will deal with them this year,” he said.

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