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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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New base for better traffic

Police are hopeful of streamlining the city traffic from a new base.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj told The Telegraph: “We are planning to shift the surveillance base of the CCTV cameras to the new Traffic police station (at Gandhi Maidan).”

Explaining the plan, Raj said: “The new system would be in place within a week. One or two policemen would be on duty at all times, monitoring the traffic.”

CCTV cameras were installed at four roundabouts — Station, Exhibition Road, Kotwali and Income Tax — on August 20. But even the SSP claims that these are not being utilised properly.

“A system (computer) was earlier installed at the office of the traffic SP. But the plan is not quite working out,” he said.

The new plan of surveillance not withstanding, police officers claimed that monitoring the streets has always been a challenge. To begin with, the plan to install the surveillance cameras faced a number of hurdles since it was announced by then SSP Alok Kumar on December 24 last year. Kumar had launched a website and announced that commuters would be able to get regular traffic updates by logging into it.

The project had a three-week deadline. But series of technical posers — like a slow Internet connection and getting permission from Patna Municipal Corporation — delayed the project.

An officer, who did not want to be named, said: “A system was initiated at the office of the traffic SP at the headquarters. But there were not enough officers to monitor the images.”

He sounded hopeful that the new set-up would help streamline the surveillance system but was unsure of whether the updates would be available online.

“A decision would be taken on that later,” he added.

Updates apart, commuters are not happy with the traffic management on the streets.

“Places like Station Road are always clogged. The buses and autos pick and drop passengers anywhere. Why can’t the cops act tough with those who break the traffic rules?” said Gardanibagh resident Shantanu Kumar.

Senior police officers accepted the charge of mismanaged traffic. “Autorickshaws and buses are responsible for the frequent snarls on Station Road,” said SSP Raj. “Nothing can be done if people don’t follow the rules.”

Asked if there was a plan to sort out the problem, he said traffic SP Chandrika Prasad was in New Delhi to attend a meeting. “When he returns I am sure he would come up with new ideas that we can implement,” said Raj.

Prasad is expected to return on Saturday. He is also slated to visit Bhubaneswar later this month to study the traffic signal system in the Odisha capital.