The plum post has remained vacant for the last five months
The city may be witnessing a near-permanent traffic chaos, but the Traffic West Division has remained headless for almost five months.
The city has two traffic divisions, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). Due to political crisis and government apathy, the post of DCP (Traffic West Division) has remained unfilled ever since Pandurang H. Rane was transferred to the State Intelligence Wing on March 31.
While the East Division has 18 traffic police stations, the West Division has 20. Routine work pertaining to traffic regulation has been crippled in the limits of Chickpet, Upparpet, City Market, Magadi Road, Vijayanagar, Byatarayanapura, Kamakshipalya, Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, Yeshwanthpur, Peenya, R.T. Nagar, Yelahanka, Hebbal, Chikkajala, Devanahalli Airport, Central, Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Banashankari and Kumaraswamy Layout traffic police stations as the State Government is yet to appoint a DCP for the West Traffic Division.
At least 200 major roads, including Bellary Road, Mysore Road, Tumkur Road, Magadi Road, Doddaballapur Main Road and inner and outer ring roads fall under these traffic police station limits. Massive traffic jams are routine in areas manned by these stations due to poor traffic management as well as ongoing infrastructure projects.
Ever since Mr. Rane was transferred, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Public Relations Officer) V. Ramaiah has been holding additional charge as DCP Traffic West.
“Traffic jams are becoming common across the city. The Government's seriousness in regulating the traffic has come under a cloud. The Traffic West Division has five sub divisions — Traffic West, Traffic East, North, North East, Traffic South — under which 20 traffic police stations are working,” fumed a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, who was stuck in last week's notorious jam on J.C. Road.
The sub-divisions may have Assistant Commissioners of Police and Inspectors, but the DCP's role is crucial. It is the DCP who has to monitor traffic movements, supervise the stations, conduct bandobast rehearsals and so on, he added.
“The DCP has to meet with officials of the Bruhat Bengaluru Manahanagara Palike (BBMP), Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KRCDL), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), as these agencies take up several development activities that are resulting in gridlocks,” the officer said.
As for DCP Ramaiah, who is holding temporary charge of West Traffic Division, he is also supervising the PR activities of 105 law-and-order stations and 38 traffic stations. It is difficult for an officer to discharge such responsibilities, however capable he is, pointed out another top police officer.
The DCP West Traffic is a plum post in the department. There is hectic lobbying for the post hence the delay, said an officer, who did not want to be named.
“Many powerful police officers are eying the post. Several top names are doing the rounds as this is one of the [high-profile] postings,” he added.