Tech-led Transformation of Traffic Management in Karnataka: D Roopa

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D Roopa, Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner, Traffic & Road Safety, Bangalore City Traffic Police

Karnataka Traffic Police is introducing multi-functional hand-held devices in entire State through which the officer on traffic duty can issue challan to traffic violators and collect fine through cash or through payment gateways, says D Roopa, Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner, Traffic & Road Safety, Bangalore City Traffic Police in an exclusive interview with Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN).

The vibrant Bengaluru city has become so crowded, how challenging is it for you and your organisation in terms of managing traffic, regulating norms and enforcing law?

Bengaluru is a vibrant city and one of the six major metro cities in the country. Compared to other cities, Bengaluru has got narrower roads. At the same time, the city has got the highest ratio of vehicular population (numbers of cars per person). But the advantage is that the city’s citizens are more cautious, generally traffic obeying and this behaviour helps us in managing traffic. On the other hand, being an IT hub Bengaluru sees more and more influx of people every day and that creates a challenge, as then we are dealing with a heterogeneous crowd.  

 What kind of technological initiatives and awareness programmes are being undertaken by Karnataka Police for effective ways of traffic management?

We are now introducing multi-functional hand-held devices in the entire state of Karnataka as a whole, through which the officer on traffic duty can issue challan to traffic violators and collect payment (read fine) through cash or through payment gateways. This will be given to even police officers based in the rural part of the State. This will help us in realising the ‘Digital India’ dream for the police force too. Alco meters have been also introduced in all the police stations along with speedo meters.

Impetus has been given for the improvement of the traffic junctions. There are various city traffic advisory boards in the various parts of Karnataka to improve traffic situations. Awareness programmes are also being initiated to educate people about the traffic rules. CCTV cameras are being leveraged to ensure effective traffic monitoring in various cities in Karnataka apart from Bengaluru.

We are also using social media to connect with the citizens. I personally use twitter a lot to connect. Traffic awareness campaigns are also being organised.

 How is your organisation using modern-day technology like Cloud computing, Big Data & Analytics or Artificial Intelligence to bring transformation in traffic management?

Bengaluru city has a big video wall covering about 120 junctions. It is monitored in the central control room. Now some other cities like Mysore, Belagavi, Tumkuru are also doing it. This is how our forces are using video and big data analytics to solve problems. We are also equipping Highway Patrol Vehicles with technical instruments.  By introducing 16 types of technological installations, we are also trying to ensure that Highway Patrol Vehicles reach out to the accident areas as soon as possible.

Also Read: D Roopa becomes first woman Home Secretary

What is your vision for bringing transformational change in India’s traffic management system?

According to me, linking of Aadhaar card with the issuance of driving license and car registration is a must. Fitness examination should be done for self used vehicles too. Injury or death due to negligible driving or over speeding, this is what is written in the most of the FIRs related to car accidents. But what about accidents caused by potholes? To address this, I suggest the complainant should come forward and mention that the accident took place because of the pothole, it should be stated in the FIR itself. Highway authorities, be it national or state, municipal authorities along with their contractors should be made accountable for the maintenance of roads and punishment should be incorporated in the new Act, especially for pothole related accidents.

Parking of cars is a huge problem at present in modern Indian cities in which urban transformation is taking place. In my view, it should be made mandatory for individual to submit a proof that he or she has parking space in his residence while applying for car registration.

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