New centre to tackle Bangalore's traffic bottlenecks

New centre to tackle Bangalore's traffic bottlenecks

State-of-the-art facility to monitor roads through CCTV cameras

A unique traffic management centre is slated to begin functioning in the city in a couple of months.

The management centre, adjacent to Express building, has been constructed under the B-Trac project at a cost of Rs 18 crore by the Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation. The centre, a first of its kind in the country, is expected help traffic police to handle issues more efficiently.

“The Bangalore City Traffic Police Management Centre (BCTPMC) will be another feather in the cap of the Bangalore City police. Other agencies like Metrorail and transport departments have such management centres across the country, but not the police department. We are the first police force in the country to have this centre,” Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic and security) M A Saleem told Deccan Herald.

Currently, the traffic management centre operates from the Ashoknagar police station premises. A set of 60 specially trained traffic policemen work in three shifts. The offices of the additional commissioner of police (traffic and security), deputy commissioner of police (traffic east), automation enforcement centre (currently housed on the 13th floor of Public Utility Building) on M G Road will be shifted to the new building which has five storeys, he said.

The offices of the mobile phone service providers to the traffic police, an audio-visual centre for the public, a well-stacked library and visitors’ gallery are the other features of the building. It has a huge parking space which can accommodate 25 four-wheelers and more than 200 bikes, Saleem said.

Giant screen

There will be giant screens at the BCTPMC, which will constantly show footages captured by various CCTV cameras. There will be a 36x10 screen in the middle and two 18x10 screens on either side. The surveillance cameras, digital cameras and enforcement cameras will be directly linked to the screens to help the traffic police understand the situation on the roads and take decisions accordingly.

Currently, the police have 683 cameras, including 178 surveillance cameras installed at various locations, 500 digital cameras which the policemen carry with them while on duty  and five enforcement cameras.

“The police will add 100 surveillance cameras by March next year and these cameras will be installed at strategic locations such as CID Junction, Russell Market Junction, Vidhana Soudha West Gate and City Market,” Saleem said.

Staff shortage

The traffic police officials said the department had infrastructure of international standards and innovative technology, but lacked sufficient workforce. This has affected traffic policing to some extent, which needs to be addressed, they said.

The traffic police wing has a sanctioned strength of 3,200 policemen of all ranks. The number is insufficient for a growing city like Bangalore. Currently, there are 500 vacancies. Two more divisions were added to the limits of the Bangalore police commissionerate three years ago, but there was no increase in the number of sanctioned posts. Saleem said:“It’s not about the staff shortage. It’s about making optimum utilisation of available resources. I think we are doing a good job with whatever staff strength we have today.”