The police are examining the possibility of finding a solution to the vexed traffic problem in the city, writes ANAND HARIDAS

The City Police are giving priority to streamline the city traffic. City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham said the suggestions given in the two major traffic studies available with the Corporation and Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) were being examined for possible solutions to the bottlenecks in infrastructure development.

These studies do not exactly address the specific issues, and suggestions are made on a macro-level like construction of flyovers and new roads. On the other hand, the City Police will be concentrating on minor structural changes.

For a beginning, the police are in touch with contractors responsible for completion of new roads and improvement of existing roads. Some of the works are kept pending because of delay in payments. "Some roads like the Chathiath Road, if completed, could divert the traffic from Goshree Islands. Only a small stretch of this road remains to be completed. There are other projects like widening of Sahodaran Ayyappan Road. We are in discussion with the contractors concerned to speed up the completion of these projects," said Mr. Abraham.

Another issue taken up during the drive is evolving a system for pre-paid autorickshaw service, which has fallen out of use yet again. "We have identified five spots, two railway stations, bus stands and the general hospital junction. We are planning to have a computerised system where the person manning the counter cannot tamper with the rates," he said.

There is a suggestion to start pre-paid counters outside the railway station premises, as the autorickshaw owners and drivers have been complaining against the Southern Railways' decision to bring back the licence fee for using its premises.

"Small structural changes can have big impact in improving the traffic. Like ensuring proper bus bays so that buses do not stop in the middle of the road," Mr. Abraham said.

The police are suggesting bus bays off the main road, as it is done in metros like Bangalore and Mumbai, so that parking of heavy vehicles will not obstruct the free flow of traffic.