One traffic cop manning 3,106 vehicles in Nagpur

NAGPUR: The city’s traffic scenario is a study in contrast. While the traffic is bursting at the seams, police are reeling under perennial staff crunch and the commissionerate, instead of solving this menace, is rather creating more traffic zones.
The vehicular population in Nagpur has crossed the 20-lakh mark. The number of traffic cop to monitor vehicles can be gauged from the fact that just 644 policemen have been employed to monitor 20 lakh vehicles in the 400 sqkm area of the city. It means one cop for 3,106 motor vehicles. The jurisdiction of city police commissionerate also includes areas like Kamptee, Hingna, Beltarodi and Koradi.

However, instead of increasing manpower to cope with the problem, the city police commissionerate has decided to increase the number of traffic zones in the city to curb traffic congestion.

Recently, with a move to manage city traffic in a better way, the Nagpur city police commissioner Upadhyay has created a new traffic zone — Lakadganj. The move is in anticipation of the marked increase in vehicular density that is expected with the completion of various infrastructural projects during coming years.

The move envisages the establishment of a traffic zone in addition to the existing seven zones of the city traffic wing.

As part of the new arrangement, the Cotton Market traffic zone has been divided and its areas have been included in the new Lakadganj traffic zone. Areas falling under Lakadganj, Shanti Nagar and Pachpaoli police stations will come under the Lakadganj zone. Earlier, these areas were part of the Cotton Market zone.

The ambit of handling traffic enforcement in the Kotwali, Ganeshpeth and Tehsil police stations will fall on the Cotton Market zone. The new zone will be led by a police inspector.

The number of sanctioned posts for the traffic police was last enhanced in 2011 from the earlier number of 300 posts, said the sources, adding insufficient number of traffic police personnel has meant that they have to prioritize manpower deployment.

“We go by priority. The top priorities are the busy roads. Keeping the regular visit of the chief minister and the Union transport minister to the city, we have to spare a major chunk of policemen for their smooth movement,” said a senior police officer.

The flip side is that the internal roads get left out of enforcement, for which the demand is only growing each day proportional to the problems they are facing. But there is little the traffic police can do.

But things have to change, said traffic experts. Currently, the traffic management has taken a back seat and most of the city roads have started witnessing jams. Even traffic violations have increased .

“A vehicle to police ratio should be maintained. Nagpur requires a minimum of 5,000 police personnel for this kind of population. Even out of those deployed, some may be on leave or court duty etc. So, the government should increase the number of traffic police and make them visible on the roads. Then there will some discipline,” demanded Haji Wajibhai Sheikh, who staged demonstration to increase manpower in traffic police at busy Gandhi Putla junction on Central Avenue.

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