Thiruvananthapuram

Ensuring safe travel for all

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The police have rejigged their traffic enforcement strategy and posted extra staff to cover more areas in the capital

Faced with the challenging task of handling an ever-increasing vehicular density, the Thiruvananthapuram City police have rejigged its traffic enforcement strategy.

The police force have also boosted its manpower to enhance traffic regulation and extend its coverage across the State capital.

For effective enforcement, the City police have enhanced its number of traffic sectors, each supervised by a sub-inspector, from 11 to 30, thereby considerably reducing the jurisdictional area of each sector. While 14 sectors came under the jurisdiction of the Traffic North subdivision, the remaining functioned under the purview of the Traffic South subdivision. Besides, 50 officers have been redeployed from the Armed Reserve Camp to strengthen the City traffic police strength to around 300. The police have also allotted an additional 20 motorcycles for patrolling.

Furthermore, marking a shift in its strategy, the police have also opted for a circular scheme of enforcement wherein each sector will comprise a major junction surrounded by smaller ones. The scheme has replaced the linear system, involving lines of junctions being considered as sectors, which had existed earlier.

Sector patrolling

“The new system is bound to increase coverage and ensure that there are no blind spots in surveillance. The move will enhance sector patrolling and also reduce delay in attending to exigencies such as traffic snarls and accidents,” Aadhithya R., Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order, Traffic), said.

He added that the reforms were aimed at enhancing focus on field duties and ensuring a regular police presence on the city roads. The staff shortage in the police force necessitated prioritising the traffic regulation needs in accordance with various factors. The marked increase in staff strength coupled with the revamp in traffic enforcement strategy are expected to enable the police to overcome such handicaps to a certain extent.

Following a two-week trial run, the City police had planned a formal launch for the new traffic arrangement. However, the enforcement of the model code of conduct in view of the upcoming bypolls has prompted the City police to operationalise the system without further ado.

The city police had earlier proposed the creation of a traffic central subdivision a year ago to cope with the increase in vehicular density that is expected with the completion of various infrastructural projects. The new subdivision had been envisaged by carving out areas such as Statue, Cantonment, Museum, Pettah, Vanchiyoor, Valiathura, Fort, and Thampanoor from the existing ones.

The move was mooted to handle the increased concentration of traffic along the NH-66 bypass with the commissioning of the Vizhinjam international seaport and the international convention centre at Akkulam, among other big-ticket projects. Besides, the mushrooming of various residential and commercial projects has also gradually made the region a hub of activities in the city. The possibility of the KSRTC south zone being headquartered at Eenchakkal and the expansion of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport had also been taken into account.

However, with the proposal being kept on the back-burner by the government, the current set of reforms is expected to enable effective patrolling and traffic management, at least for the time being, official sources said.

Sealing medians

Meanwhile, the City police are also mulling revival of its efforts to ‘seal’ medians along stretches that have been witnessing jaywalking. The police initiative in erecting barricades and creating openings at designated points to ensure pedestrian safety had drawn flak after they had roped in contractors who were permitted to generate revenue by displaying advertisements. Continuous barriers had been erected at considerable heights in various parts of the city, including Kesavadasapuram, Pattom, Kaimanam, and East Fort. Openings were also provided at regular intervals to enable pedestrians to cross the roads without having to walk long distances until the intersections.

The police are now considering barricading other medians with the financial assistance of the various agencies concerned, including the Kerala Road Fund Board. While the proposal was currently in a nascent stage, field studies are being undertaken to identify the accident-prone roads that have been witnessing unsafe pedestrian movement.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 10:10:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/ensuring-safe-travel-for-all/article29612608.ece

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