As I have just watched a young traffic policewoman hopelessly requesting some young citizens to get back to stop-line at a junction, and getting almost killed as they whizzed past her, I have a serious question for you.
At this point, the entire traffic issue is getting branded as if it is your problem. You have also responded with remarkable zeal and have really inspired your force to rise to the occasion. I can see traffic cops opening gutters to reduce water-logging even if it is not their job. City police has found a rare hero in you and has gravitated around your personal charisma to taken the bull of traffic by its horn.
But, while you are driving your forces to perform, you need to start thinking.
Is traffic really your problem only?
Even though we are have CCTV based traffic violation registration, we are not fining 99% of violators due to various, mainly political reasons.
How will you enforce law if government doesn’t muster political will to do so?
Entire city is filled with unauthorised street-food vendors who have established themselves on every street corner that they clog by usurping public spaces.
What can police do if Municipal Corporation doesn’t act against them?
Regular and loading rickshaws are a real menace on city roads. Today it is entirely possible for someone to arrive from even Bangladesh and rent a rickshaw and commit a crime ranging from petty traffic violation to a violent rape with murder.
How are you going to deal with it if RTO doesn’t regulate this?
Lot worse is the parking issue, where the problem has compounded because of state succumbing to public pressure and greedy builders flaunting every norm. We have buildings were cleared under impact fee provisions that are actually sans parking. There is no doubt that a number of such buildings are cleared based on having “managed” a parking nearby that actually is on paper only.
With no real parking available, and impact fee provisions completely compromised, how can police be expected to solve the parking issue?
State continues pushing FSI higher through various provisions without bothering to see carrying capacity of roads. It builds a BRTS network in a hot city where people can’t walk and doesn’t respond to public feedback that it isn’t working. It carries on making two-lane roads even when an opportunity like river-front development arrives to build a wider artery through city-center was available.
When all other arms of the state are working hard to make your problem more difficult, so how long do you feel your forces can remain positive, inspired and committed?
Sir, time has come for you to start asking questions.
Why don’t we have at least ten thousand SqMt land earmarked for a police station in every town planning scheme?
Why is police not involved with urban infrastructure projects from inception?
Why isn’t police called to be a participating stakeholder in decision making with an authority, and instead called only when there is a problem?
It is time that police starts having a real say in decision-making, at least in how any urban area is planned. If police is going to act like the proverbial Bollywood police that arrives only after the crime is committed, it will be fighting a hopeless battle that it can never win.
I look at the spotlight on you to be a moment of opportunity. You are holding the stage and all eyes are on you.
Speak up, on behalf of the young people working for you.
As you are doing your job, you have a moral right to ask the judiciary, ask the state and ask the people to do their jobs too.