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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Smooth traffic plans stuck in doldrums

- Ambitious schemes announced in two months, none has been implemented yet

Schemes may come and schemes may go but traffic problems in Patna continue forever.

A shower of promises greeted the state capital residents two months ago when a senior officer took charge of the traffic department. None of the new schemes, however, has seen the light of day yet (see chart).

Two weeks ago, police had announced a public awareness campaign that would focus on informing motorists and pedestrians about necessary precautions to avoid mishaps. But the hoardings are yet to be seen on the city roads.

A senior police officer told The Telegraph on Tuesday: “We had decided to launch the campaign as soon as possible and put up hoardings in different parts of the city. A private bank was approached for sponsorship but it did not work out. Another bank has been approached and it might take some time before the scheme is launched.”

Other schemes languishing in the pipeline include starting a call centre to manage autorickshaws and replacing the malfunctioning speed gun in the police artillery with more effective equipment.

A police source said: “A number of plans were announced after two new officers — Chandrika Prasad and Amrit Raj — joined as the traffic superintendent of police (SP) and senior superintendent of police, respectively, in March this year. The same thing happened last year as well. Some of the plans, like widening of roads near the Income Tax roundabout and construction of a subway at Patna Junction, sound over-ambitious. But others, like installation of CCTV cameras, should have been completed by now.”

Among the unsuccessful schemes is the plan to manage traffic near Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar railway stations. In mid-April, the traffic police met with railway officials in this regard.

“Some changes have been initiated after the meeting but they did not work out as well as we had expected. We are now thinking afresh and planning to change the police officers who were given the task of managing traffic along these areas,” traffic SP Chandrika Prasad told The Telegraph.

The plan to install closed-circuit television cameras at four roundabouts in the state capital has not materialised in six months since it was announced.

“A report has been sought from the officers concerned tomorrow (Wednesday). We will check the present stage of work and take a decision,” Prasad said.