A month after transport minister Subhas Chakraborty blamed the city police for the car chaos, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee appears to have come around to the same idea.
Unhappy with the management of traffic, Bhattacharjee has taken it upon himself to stem the rot. He has convened a meeting on traffic management with police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty and deputy commissioner (traffic) M.K. Singh. The meeting will be held on Monday at Writers’ Buildings.
Sources close to the chief minister said he had been working on a few plans over the past couple of weeks to streamline the flow of vehicles. “I have a few suggestions to improve traffic conditions,’’ Bhattacharjee had told the top cops. Deputy commissioner Singh confirmed that several of the ideas would be discussed at the Monday meeting.
Earlier, the transport minister had squarely blamed the police for the traffic mess. “They are responsible for the chaos on the road. Shirking work and corruption are the bane of our force,’’ Chakraborty had said.
Initially, the chief minister had not reacted to his minister’s criticism. But with the traffic situation turning from bad to worse by the day, Bhattacharjee decided to step in, a senior secretary in the state home department said. “He was monitoring the traffic situation and exchanging ideas with friends and bureaucrats,’’ he added.
The chief minister is expected to review the following points:
4Buses stopping in the middle of the road to pick up passengers
4Handcarts, cycles and hand-pulled rickshaws and cycle-vans travelling along key roads like Rashbehari Avenue, S.P. Mukherjee Road, J.L. Nehru Road, Park Street, A.J.C Bose Road, Elgin Road and Ballygunge Circular Road.
4Illegal parking and violation of no-entry regulations by taxis and chartered buses. Sources said senior home department officials have briefed the chief minister that they have noticed chartered buses parked illegally along Sidhu Kanu Dahar and taxis violating no-entry rules
4Hawkers on Rashbehari Avenue, Hazra, A.J.C. Bose Road, Park Street, Theatre Road, Ganesh Chandra Avenue and Chowringhee
4The plying of auto-rickshaws, especially their routes and stands
4Defunct traffic lights at many intersections that supplement the chaotic traffic situation
4The attitude of traffic policemen
Police sources said commissioner Chakraborty and deputy commissioner Singh are expected to press for funds to erect road dividers to prevent jay-walking.