The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 22 , 2014
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Friendly call to end snarl on streets

The district administration has decided to regulate traffic in Patna City with a friendly hand.

Patna City sub-divisional officer (SDO) Thyagrajan S.M. has decided to appoint members of the peace committee at police stations as “Friends of Traffic” to rid the roads under his jurisdiction of traffic snarls.

The Friends of Traffic would first identify the places of traffic bottlenecks under their jurisdiction and then act accordingly. The administration would provide them with caps carrying the traffic police logo and identity cards, the SDO said. But nothing has been decided on remunerating them.

The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Thyagrajan, a young IAS officer, with the members of the peace committee of different police stations of Patna City sub-division on Monday. People’s representatives from several wards of the sub-division were also present at the meeting.

Abhay Goswami, a member of the Gaighat-Alamganj peace committee, however, described the SDO’s concept as a Utopian idea. “I think no member of the committee would agree to contribute his/her time without any remuneration. The officer concerned should think of providing some enumeration to those assigned the job,” he said.

Another member of the committee, Kamluddin Pandit, blamed the policemen for the traffic chaos on the roads. “Policemen can be spotted collecting money from thelawalas (cartpullers) and drivers of goods carriages at different points, leading to traffic congestion,” he added.

Thyagrajan said: “We would appoint some members of the peace committee as Friends of Traffic shortly. They would be trained at a two-day workshop in the second week of February before they assist the police personnel in regulating traffic from Sultanganj to City Chowk.”

The Friends of Traffic would be deployed in shifts and work in tandem with the traffic personnel. “Since they are local residents and aware of the traffic problems, they can handle the situation better,” the officer told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Sultanganj, Paschim Darwaza, Gulzarbagh, Chowk Sikarpur and City Chowk were identified as areas, where traffic snarls have become a routine affair.

The SDO said the peace committee members have successfully helped the district administration in maintaining law and order during Dussehra and other festivals. “Then, why can’t they co-operate with the administration in regulating the traffic of which they are also victims,” he said.

The traffic chaos has become a perennial problem for the residents, mainly the business community members. Binod Awasthi, a social worker present at the SDO’s meeting, said: “Nobody wants to visit Patna City owing to traffic snarls. Even tourists bound for Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib fall victim to the traffic chaos.”