Speaking at the 21st National Traffic Awareness Week jointly organised by the District Administration, Transport Department and Police department, with the motto “Life is safe if driving is safe,” at Police Guest House here on Wednesday, he said that the news of the shifting of bus stands may be sweet for some and bitter for some others, but it is inevitable to manage the traffic in the City in the days to come.
“In fact, the present bus stand is located in hockey ground,” he said and called upon the members of the public and bus operators to co-operate with the district administration in solving the traffic problems.
Stating that a private firm is conducting a survey to improve the City’s transport system, Ponnuraj said the firm has submitted its interim report and is expected to submit the final draft by next month end. “Subsequently, consultations will be held with NGOs, police department, Canara Bus Owners’ Assocation, KSRTC and members of the public,” he informed.
Explaining the importance of installation of GPS in buses, he said the purpose of installation of GPS in buses is to study the problems and not to take any punitive steps. He also stressed the need to change the parking policy in the City. “In several places, building owners have violated parking plan in total,” he said and regretted that 30 to 40 per cent space meant for roads are being used for parking following which any steps to widen roads are of very little help in easing traffic woes. He also warned stern action against violators of parking rule.
Speaking on the occasion, Superintendent of Police Dr A S Rao called upon the members of the public to send their suggestions to improve traffic in City within the next five days so that the suggestions will be analysed on the sixth day. Complaints may be sent through e-mail or IVRS (2424204). He also informed that the State government has released a sum of Rs 50 lakh to purchase equipment to deal with traffic management. “A new crane, reflectors, reflective jackets and gloves for traffic cops, median markers and breadth analysers among other equipment will be purchased,” he informed.
District and Sessions Judge H R Deshpande who inaugurated the traffic awareness week, called upon the members of the public to follow traffic rules. “Traffic can not be improved with the help of law alone. There is a need for public co-operation too,” he opined.
Presiding over the programme, IGP (Western Range) Gopal B Hosur said that more number of people die or suffer injuries in road mishaps than any other crimes. Giving a statistics, he said that on an average, about 20 to 25 persons are murdered while about 180 persons commit suicide in Dakshina Kannada every year. “But as many as 730 persons lost their life in road accidents in 2009,” he said. Similarly, on an average, about 300 persons suffer injuries in the crimes that take place in the district.
However, 1,636 persons suffered injuries in road mishaps in 2009, he said and quoting a survey, stated that about 71 per cent of the accidents result due to drivers’ negligence. Explaining the problems of the traffic constables, he challenged the members of the public to stand for two days along with the traffic cops in any City junctions. Senior Traffic Inspector Keshav Dharani read out a few limericks on traffic penned by him. Traffic Inspector Manjunath Shetty proposed a vote of thanks. A large number of NCC cadets took part. Additional SP Ramesh and RTO Purushotham were present.