Traffic has been a perennial issue in Gurgaon – at least over the past decade. With vehicles of all forms swelling to almost unmanageable proportions, traffic supervision and management and become a sizeable headache for both the administration and the residents of the City. To help mitigate the growing menace of traffic disruptions, the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently gave his approval to three projects that would help revamp the traffic system and ensure a smoother vehicular passage at some critical choke points in the City - namely Rajiv Chowk, Signature Tower Chowk and IFFCO Chowk. The estimated cost is Rs 779 crores. Further, a Traffic Tower, which will house various Traffic Police departments and citizen facilitation areas, was inaugurated last week by Yashpal Singal, DGP Haryana. The State government has made provisions for increasing the Traffic Police manpower on Gurgaon roads, including the appointment of a reasonably large contingent of female constables. Further, the State government had committed to return half the ‘revenue’ of the Traffic department for investing in equipment and facilities, and traffic management.
Gurgaon Traffic Police has also taken several initiatives. DC Traffic, Vinod Kaushik says, “Unfortunately the new city of Gurgaon has not been well planned, despite having a model city like Chandigarh within the State. And this haphazard development has gone on for over a decade. So now we face a big challenge. However, rather than attempt daily quick fixes, we decided to study the vehicular traffic over a period of time (at least a month) before recommending any changes. These would of course include areas outside of our direct control, like the modification of roads. This State government has definitely shown more concern for the management of traffic in Gurgaon. We will instal CCTV cameras at the multiple busy intersections in the City. To bring about more transparency in our dealing with road offenders, a system of e-challans has been introduced, by which we will be able to instantly penalise traffic violators. GPRS will help us locate the offenders and we appropriately deal with the complaints against such persons.” Kaushik feels that the adoption of modern technologies will go a long way in helping reduce the problems being faced by the police administration in dealing with traffic offenders.
Currently Gurgaon Traffic Police have come up with some simple but workable solutions through road diversions, which have helped ease the traffic problems in multiple areas. The diversions at CD Chowk, IFFCO Chowk ,Rajeev Chowk , Rao Tularam Chowk, MG Road, Bilaspur, Fazilpur, Udyog Vihar, Dundakhera, Hanuman Road and an underpass of NH8 and some other areas , have proved to be useful almost instantly. The daily traffic jam – upto 20 minutes to clear - on Sohna Road (at Omaxe Mall traffic light) has simply vanished! The work on metalling the roads and making the diversions permanent will be taken up soon. Roy, a resident of a colony near Sohna Road, is pleased. “While traffic is a problem, I must admit that the Traffic Police is more proactive now. The diversions have helped, especially on the main roads, but more work needs to be done in several other places, within colonies, where traffic is extremely dense. For instance the traffic is horrible near the Arcade Market.” He also feels that the Traffic Police need to deploy more manpower in these areas because of the density of population and vehicles there. Kaushik says that everything cannot be thrust upon the Police – the citizens have some responsibility too. “We have implemented workable solutions, but there will only work if there is the requisite discipline. The diversions and barriers, across chowks and roads, have been set up for a 12-hour period – 8am to 8pm. Road Safety Officers (RSOs) are continuing to do a fine job, helping us implement various initiatives. However, it is the duty of all the citizens of Gurgaon to now drive and park more responsibly. In fact we have also set up specific parking zones – which is helping,” he says. Gurgaon Traffic Police will also educate the children of Gurgaon through traffic awareness camps during the coming summer holidays. “It makes sense to catch them young,” Kaushik adds. “Thankfully the results are showing, despite the infrastructural inadequacies that have compounded the City’s traffic problems,” says Kaushik. The small battles are being won, but the war on traffic is far from over. And the Traffic Police surely cannot do it on their own. It’s time the other arms of the Administration also contributed, apart from of course each one of us.
On auto drivers, Kaushik says, ”Yes, they can be a menace. We are trying to constantly educate them, but in some areas they are almost unmanageable, particularly near HUDA City Centre. We are very strict with them here. But they have still not changed. It will take time…but change they will.”