Is there any way out or we are condemned to suffer?
I don’t know whether it goes well with the new city traffic police chief and his bosses or they feel offended by these humble suggestions. But one thing is clear, unless you change the mindset of traffic managers and a paradigm shift in basics of traffic management, nothing is going to change on the ground. The complicated traffic snarls and gridlocks will find no end till the whole scenario is addressed on infrastructural front with strict law enforcement as priority. Traffic management is not a procedure of balancing chemical equations, where the time tested ‘hit and trial’ method can be adopted when everything fails. Changing the city super cop for efficient traffic management every now and then will yield nothing but will add to confusion. Interestingly, some time back the present incumbent had already tried his luck, but failed miserably! Many observers vouch for his dynamism and loads of enthusiasm but at the end of the day it is managerial skill, dedication and impartiality along with a mechanism of well-oiled man and machine that matters the most. Travelling in bullet proof cars with several escort vehicles in tow will change nothing on ground and will never give you an idea of traffic terror and the suffering of commuters and common-man.Traffic confusion cannot be contained overnight, but some respite can be had and provided to aam aadmi by planning long term process in advance and initiating some short term measures. Interestingly, the ostentatious change in guard remains visible and workable for few weeks, where traffic cops can be seen at every strategic point pushing the agenda of new leadership, but with the passage of time the enthusiasm starts weaning and the whole process gets relegated to square one. A cursory look on traffic chaos at peak hours will reveal the real monstrous face and attitude of some VVIPs (or else less important mean souls) and the brigade of neo-riches. Their erroneous acts, otherwise unbecoming of people of eminent standing make even the humblest of humble soul feel ashamed. Their breaking the line and driving against the tide is nothing but brazen violation under the influence of unbridled power. Most of the times custodians and executors of law violate rules so brazenly that common-man finds himself at the cross roads of law and law implementation. Then there are rouge drivers both of commercial and private vehicles. Not every driver or commuter is a law breaker by choice but when they find every second stake holder violating rules with impunity they get encouraged and does not want to lag behind in being part of a mad crowd of traffic violators. The story of commercial vehicles is more intriguing. Unpredictable behavior of three wheeler drivers and their rat race at times chocks the smooth flow of traffic. Their more frightening behavior on road and intimidating vocabulary very often leads to road rage. The on road activities of cab drivers and minibus operators are no less terrifying. Their anywhere, anytime stopovers and unethical competition for business is toughest task for any traffic cop. By the evening all city roads get hijacked by commercial load carriers who are allowed to ply only after sunset. Even traffic lights are made to blink as per their choice and rest of the traffic is left at the mercy of these unruly drivers with no cop in sight to check them. Yes, since change in guard the presence of other police personal is visible, but unfortunately they don’t treat themselves part of the blue brigade and are least bothered about results.
Other than long term measures of widening roads, removing encroachments from existing network of roads and getting the whole traffic system streamlined some short term measures if implemented sincerely can provide some immediate relief in traffic management. To start with, the new traffic police head should firmly believe in dispassionate implementation of law, because sincere implementation of law matters more than the law itself. In other words there should be no discrimination while ensuring the rule of law. Otherwise people as usual will keep on reciting age old maxim ‘rules are for fools’. Curbing the menace of wrong parking should be a priority. And instead of treating his team as revenue generating junta he should use it exclusively as law implementing force in the best interest of people of this ill-fated city. Hope my words will be taken in right perspective without deriving any malicious conclusions.