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Ample parking space will solve 40% of Mumbai’s traffic problems: Dr BK Upadhyay

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Little Yadav spoke at length with new joint commissioner of police (traffic) Dr BK Upadhyay on the challenges and solutions to traffic problems in the city.

Q. What are your plans as the traffic chief?
I have two plans. First, to make the traffic movement smooth, and second, to bring about road discipline in motorists. These are not easy tasks but I will try to do as much as I can during my tenure with this department. There are many problems that we face, such as several roads are being dug and there are no diversion signs to instruct motorists on which way to take. This results in traffic jams and chaos on the roads. Also, I would concentrate on bringing down the number of road mishaps in the city.

Q. Do you have a strategy to deal with these problems?
The most important strategy is to impose stringent traffic laws — an effective way to implement road discipline. Education also plays a very important role. We are trying to speak to NGOs and other such groups that would conduct different awareness programmes for public. Third, faulty road engineering is one of the primary reasons for traffic jams. We are in talks with authorities to rectify the faulty roads.

Q. What is the biggest issue when it comes to traffic problems?
The biggest problem according to me is the lack of parking space in the city. Residential complexes provide either space for single parking or no space at all forcing people to park their vehicles on roads.

When one lane is occupied by parked vehicles, it is going to result in restriction of traffic movement. I am in talks with the BMC and other concerned authorities and we are trying to find a solution for parking by providing multiple-parking facilities. Ample parking space will solve 40 per cent of the traffic problems.

Q. Traffic policemen are often said to be corrupt. What is your take?
Corruption is a deep-routed problem. It is like a disease and many seem to be affected by it. It even affects people who earn a fat salary. I want my men to be non-corrupt and I have thought of taking certain measures to ensure that.

Q. How are you planning to deal with corruption?
We are conducting training programmes where I am going to personally talk to traffic policemen to make them understand that corruption can ruin their career. Sooner or later, they will be trapped by the Anti Corruption Bureau. I am setting up an inter-departmental vigilant committee which will keep an eye on policemen and report to me as and when they come across a corrupt personnel. Immediate action will be taken against those who are found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Q. The recent hoopla about towing van operators opening a parked car to release the hand brake has irked many and led to criticism of the traffic police department.
The department has the authority to open a car to release the handbrake if and only the car is parked in an area where VIP movement is going to take place or it is disrupting traffic movement. I have instructed my people to use that method only under these two circumstances.

Q. Your predecessor has done a great deal to handle the traffic situation. Do you have anything different in mind?
The main focus of the traffic police department is to manage traffic and prevent road mishaps. My predecessors have done a good job and I will try my best to continue what they had done and try to take it ahead to help correct the problems that still remain.

Q. How are you planning to motivate your team?
I strongly believe that only a strong body can work efficiently. Hence, I have started yoga lessons for traffic policemen to keep them mentally and physically healthy. I have started a monthly award programme in which a policeman will be selected from all the 25 divisions across the city based on his performance, attendance, punctuality, behaviour etc. The selected policeman will get a certificate and cash prize. This is being done to motivate them and make them work efficiently.

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