eBihar 2015 - Special Issue

WhatsApp Tames Unruly Patna Traffic

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whatsappWith modern technologies making inroads in every sphere of life, Patna’s Traffic Police are also making a prudent use of the common mobile phone app to channelise the city traffic

Traffic congestion has been a perennial problem for Patnaites, forcing the Traffic Police Department to look for solutions desperately. One fine morning, as Patna Superintendent of Police (SP) (Traffic), Prantosh Kumar Das was busy discussing ways to counter the menace, he received 10-12 personal messages on the WhatsApp installed in his computer system, and an idea clicked. He decided to use this tool and introduced a WhatsApp number, where any citizen can send his complaint and can tell about the real-time situation of traffic.

On Jan 11, 2015, he released a WhatsApp number +91- 9234600501, where people of Patna can share information on traffic violations in the city.

Along with this, the department has started a Facebook page too, which has gained immense popularity, with people uploading pictures of different kinds of violations on it. Huge public-awareness hoardings have been placed across the city as well. The people spotting and witnessing any traffic violation can just take a snap of the same and share it on this number.

One has to just click a picture of the vehicle along with its registration number and the street. The picture should give us an idea that the way the vehicle is parked violates norms,” the officer says. Once clicked, the resident can just send it on the number over WhatsApp. The WhatsApp Cell would then take printouts of the picture and study it. If the traffic policemen are convinced that the vehicle violates traffic rules, printouts would be sent to the district traffic office, which has a complete database of vehicles registered in Patna and the owner would be fined.

The Police believe it would be a good and successful example of joint efforts by both police and public. The kind of power given to general public in large by the Traffic Police Department is making people spot violations and also give them a chance to obey rules and regulations. This initiative has been a huge hit and more than 5000 complaints have been received by the department within just one month of the launch of this service

The Patna Traffic Police has just 226 personnel. A total of 434 posts of constables, 45 posts of havildars, 31 posts of assistant-sub inspectors and three posts of sergeants, and one post of sergeant major are vacant.

Apart from this, in a noble step, the Patna Police has armed traffic posts at important junctures of Bihar’s Capital with first-aid box to attend the road accident victim on the spot. To start with, first-aid box has been given at five traffic posts and as many mobile regulation teams. The five posts are — Boring Road Roundabout, Tapasya Complex, 46 Number Pillar, Hartali Mor and Saguna. Under this programme, Patna Traffic Police has entered into a tie-up with the Red Cross Society. The box contains necessary items like cotton, bandage, and anti-septic medicines among others. The idea behind the programme is to attend an accident victim at once without losing the time waiting for the ambulance or taking the victim to a doctor. Such box would be placed at more and more posts in due course of time.

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