The bloodstains on the streets just refuse to fade as mishap after mishap dot crossroads in Calcutta. Time, therefore, to roll out reforms'
On Saturday, when chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee kicks off celebrations marking 150 years of Calcutta Police, he is expected to announce a mega plan to tame traffic, smoothen its flow and make the city a safer place to move around in.
This move can be traced back to an appeal the chief minister had made to the force while inaugurating a police kiosk a few months ago. Detailed proposals were then drawn up by police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee and his team.
The proposal comprises a two-part project, to be implemented over the next couple of years. The first phase, involving Rs 1.14 crore, would revolve around synchronisation of traffic movement, setting up of new pedestrian barriers, putting in place new traffic signals and creating bus bays (on Syed Amir Ali Avenue, Rashbehari Avenue and APC Road).
To smoothen the road to traffic-rule reform, the transport department has asked the bus, minibus, autorickshaw and taxi associations to submit their proposals within a fortnight for better enforcement.
'We soon hope to prepare a final blueprint that should go a long way in helping police enforce traffic rules,' said transport minister Subhas Chakraborty.
The transport department also intends to organise regular training camps for drivers, mechanics and public transport operators.
As far as the cause for traffic trouble goes, police have pinned the blame on:
Rallies and processions, waterlogging, bad roads, slow vehicles, encroachment by hawkers, rising vehicular count, faulty signals, lack of enforcement, lack of coordination between PVD and traffic police, illegal parking, bus terminus on roads, reserved tram tracks and indiscriminate permits being issued.
'We have taken the initiative to increase road space in the city,' said state chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb. 'Now, we hope to improve the traffic management system.'