Traffic cops stop sending SMSes

Traffic cops stop sending SMSes

Road situation update service not working as cost rises manifold

Traffic cops stop sending SMSes

One of the novel projects of the traffic police initiated ahead of the Commonwealth Games to update road users about traffic situation — SMS alerts — is out of service for the past six months.

The service, which was being availed by some 80,000 people in the city, is out of service since November 2012. Special commissioner of police (traffic) Sudhir Yadav said the service was suspended due to financial constraints. 

“The total cost of running the service increased manifold. We used to pay about two paise per SMS, which has suddenly gone up to 20 paise. We were forced to suspend the service as thousands of SMSes were sent in a day,” Yadav said.

But the force is trying to revive it with the help of a private player, he added.
Traffic police used to provide road situation updates to close to one lakh subscribers, such as traffic jam on a particular road and diversion on certain stretches, among others, through the service.

Apart from SMS alerts, the traffic police also initiated several other technology-based projects to inform road users about traffic situation as well promote people’s participation in improving policing.

But all such initiatives like staying in touch with road users through popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, SMS and interactive websites have either lost momentum or failed to see the light of the day.

While the traffic police’s interactive website project never became a success, activities ranging from catching violating VIPs, policemen and common people, apprising people about jams, road blocks, diversions and breakdowns and seeking people’s suggestions for improvement in policing through Facebook and Twitter have shown a steep decline.

‘Relaunch website’

Yadav said while he has instructed his officers to become more active on social networking sites and improve communication with commuters, the interactive website will be launched afresh.

“The website is being developed in such a manner that it can be accessed through computers as well as smartphones as a user-friendly mobile application. We hope to launch it soon,” he said.

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