The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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One-way ticket to chaos ride

RAJESH KUMAR, superintendent of police, Howrah, met readers of The Telegraph at the police office conference hall at the new Howrah Haat complex, Nityadhan Mukherjee Road. Participants included Md. Munir Khan, S.S. Modi, Ram Avatar Mundhra, Sujit Kumar Pal, Manindra Agarwal, Kamal Jaju, Sudip Banerjee, Govind Kanoria, Anand Pandey, Sunil Modi and Akshay Raj

Ram Avatar Mundhra: The recent introduction of one-way traffic on G.T. Road, enforced to ease congestion, is creating problems for daily commuters.

One-way traffic was introduced to give relief to the people. But some problems have arisen. People have to walk longer distances to reach a specific bus stand. To ease the situation, circular bus services will be introduced.

Sujit Kumar Pal: When the one-way system was introduced, it was said that vehicles carrying patients and children would be allowed to go the other way. This is not being followed.

It was decided that any vehicle carrying schoolchildren, the aged and patients would be exempt from the one-way rule. If any policeman stops such vehicles, inform the local police immediately. Action will be taken.

Md. Munir Khan: During Durga puja, the use of loudspeakers was strictly monitored. Will this be a regular feature'

The monitoring will be in place during every festival. This time, officials of the pollution control board visited different pandals but could not find a single deviation from the norms.

Ram Avatar Mundhra: Some highrises were constructed as residential buildings. Later, portions were sold for commercial use, which is creating security problems for the flat-owners.

It is the duty of the Howrah Municipal Corporation to see whether building rules are violated or not. An Act is on the anvil in Howrah to rein in errant developers. According to the Act, if any realtor violates the law, he will face a fine of Rs 50,000 or seven yearsí imprisonment. Calcutta Municipal Corporation has promulgated a similar law. In Howrah, the law will come into force from November.

Manindra Agarwal: Highrises should have vats so flat-owners donít throw refuse on the roads.

I shall take up the matter with the Howrah Municipal Corporation. I shall also ask the developers to instal vats in buildings so that the surroundings can be kept clean.

Sudip Banerjee: Long-distance buses on early morning services are driven so recklessly that pedestrians have to be very cautious. It has become a nightmare for guardians taking their little children to school.

Traffic policemen start their duty from 7 am. However, to stop reckless driving, we have introduced spot checks and in that, we are accompanied by representatives of vehicle-owners and drivers. In this district, we suffer from lack of roadspace. Still, we are trying to educate our drivers.

Sudip Banerjee: I am a resident of south Howrah. Here, drug-peddling is a real problem.

You will be happy to know that during the past two months, we have seized about a kg of heroin and arrested some peddlers.

Govind Kanoria: The approach to Howrah bridge is always a nightmare due to illegal parking.

There is a subway but people avoid using it. We are requesting every commuter to use it. Soon, we will take steps to curb illegal parking in and around the station.

Anand Pandey: Residents of some highrises throw their refuse on the low houses around. Can this menace be checked'

That is a touchy problem. The police alone cannot solve it. For this, people need to be more conscious. However, to tackle the problem, we are trying to make the police more impartial and fair.

Besides, we are taking steps to make the force more friendly, social and community-minded. We have visited several schools to train them on road rules. We took the students to police stations to acquaint them with what the police actually do.

Sunil Modi: Some clubs play a vital role in curbing crime but get little cooperation from the police.

Please submit a list of such clubs. I will ask the police stations to cooperate.

Akshay Raj: South Howrah reeks of decomposed bodies burning at the crematorium.

We have taken some steps to decrease the odour. We keep a watch to ensure that unclaimed bodies are cremated within two days. There may be some exceptions and we have to bear with it.

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