Govt to revive BATF to solve Bengaluru's traffic problems

Govt to revive BATF to solve Bengaluru's traffic problems

The State government is planning to revive the now-defunct Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) as one of the ways to check Bengaluru’s growing traffic problem, Home Minister G Parameshwara has said.

“Co-ordinated efforts are needed from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and the corporate world to manage the traffic problem. Hence, we will soon revive the BATF and work out the modalities,” he told reporters after going through a detailed presentation made at the Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) by the police about the current traffic issues.

The minister explained what needs to be done to reduce the City’s notorious traffic congestion. He stressed the need to improve the infrastructure to handle the pressure of growing vehicular population. “There are short- and long-term measures such as commissioning of northern, southern, eastern and western elevated corridors and completion of the Metro rail which is likely to carry about 20 lakh passengers a day,” he said.

Then, there is a proposal to ban trucks from entering Bengaluru during certain hours. Parameshwara said the government would call a meeting with truck owners and take a suitable decision without affecting their interests. Car-pooling is another solution as the police want to make 50,000 people go for it in the next couple of years, he added.

The police have also proposed to introduce traffic diversions in many areas to reduce congestion. This apart, they are dealing sternly with habitual traffic offenders. They recommended the suspension of 14,194 driving licences in 2014 and 18,700 driving licences in 2015 (till the first week of December), the minister said. The police have collected nearly Rs 419 crore as fine from people between 2007 and 2014. Half of this money will be used to improve the traffic management centre, he said, adding that public support was crucial to addressing the problem.

The biggest challenge before the traffic police is handling the bottlenecks at the Central Silk Board junction, the Ring Road and the Central Business District. Presently, 179 CCTV cameras have been installed at traffic junctions. A hundred more will be installed soon. Then, the cameras of law and order police will be synchronised with those of the traffic wing. The tender process to procure the cameras is going on, he said.

In addition, the new design for uniform of the traffic police will be finalised soon, he added.  DG&IGP Om Prakash, Additional Chief Secretary S K Pattanayak, Advisor to Home Minister M Kempaiah, Additional Commissioner of police (Traffic) MA Saleem and other senior officers were present at the meeting.

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