Pune’s ranking among the most liveable cities may call for celebration but in reality, there exists a multitude of concerns that our citizens grapple with on a daily basis.
Top of the list is undoubtedly, the infamous traffic of Pune, a city that has a higher vehicular population than human beings.
Making a conscious effort to control the mayhem is the new Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic),Tejaswi Satpute who speaks to Pune365 on her roadmap for this humungous task ahead.
The indifference of a majority of citizens adds to the gravity of the problem and makes it even tougher for the law enforcers to get their act in place.
Instilling traffic sense among the citizens is very essential, and the city traffic can be disciplined only if the citizens contribute by following the rules, says the new incumbent, DCP Satpute.
The current pain-points with respect to traffic and road safety for us includes ‘the parking on the roadside’ leading to narrowing thoroughfares, riding without helmets, using a phone, riding/driving without a license among others.
One of our large concerns is of course the cases of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Another critical factor is the number of vehicles in relation to our roads. There is a limit to the infrastructure beyond which the city can’t go.
Despite our stringent enforcement drives, people still choose to break the traffic rules and commute.
While quipped on a permanent solution for Pune’s traffic woes, Satpute believes only a major improvement in public transport can solve this. This will be a major relief for the traffic issues and the concerned departments are already working on putting this into place.
On the constant complaints from citizens on the shortage of traffic policemen, DCP Tejaswi remarks, “That is under the purview of government, and I am not right person to comment on this. Yet, I must add that our staff are managing traffic efficiently.
In a recent experiment in Pune (which has more vehicles than humans), I sent two bikers to the same destination; One was asked to adhere to traffic rules and the other just to reach the destination at the earliest. At the end of this, the actual travel time difference was merely four minutes.
The motive of this experiment was only to make the citizens understand that adhereing to traffic rules also can make people reach on time and safely.
When asked about enforcement of helmets, DCP Satpute said, We have started with our department by enforcing the use of helmets and adhering to traffic rules.
Counselling our own policemen on adhering to traffic rules and taking action against them is an important priority for us. We’re going to set an examples by following the traffic rules even in case of emergencies.
If any of our policemen are found violating the traffic rules, he or she will be treated like any normal citizen, irrespective of the designation, she added.
Pune City Police are striving hard to make people understand the need to use helmets for their own safety. We are creating increased awareness through various medium and several campaigns are being organised with traffic personnel and volunteers for enforcement.
However, it is also the citizens responsibility to ensure that they adhere to safety requirements and rules.
“I appeal to all Punekars to follow traffic rules for your own safety and it will save time. The use other options like carpooling, shared cabs, travel on the same bike instead of using four different vehicles can really help.
Use public transport once a week and see the change for yourself, concludes DCP Tejaswi Satpute.
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