iconimg Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Mehakdeep Grewal , Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times
Patiala , July 16, 2013
Shortage of staff, and lack of both sophisticated technology used by forces in other regions and a concrete plan to control violators across the district, seems to have paralysed the Patiala district traffic police. Residents of the district alleged that the lazy and apathetic attitude of the traffic wing and ignorance of the district transport department have worsened the problem.

A senior official of the district transport department, refusing to be named, said, "Not even a single private bus operator has been challaned this year despite several violations, including overspeeding and overloading. These buses are generally owned by high-profile politicians."

In spite of the state government fixing speed limits for different vehicles under various categories a few years ago, the Patiala traffic wing still does not have speedometers, bringing the focus on the claims of police authorities about their commitment to nabbing violators.

Sources in the department said that interceptor vehicles had been brought in from Chandigarh two years ago, as a week-long pilot project, but then no such vehicles were purchased or hired by the Patiala wing.

Also, the local police's claims to come up with a better traffic plan also have not been fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's fatal accident in Kharar, involving a school bus, has again brought the issue of safety in school buses and vans to the fore.

Citing the drive launched by the police after the Nakodar accident in which 14 students were killed, residents alleged that the police swung into action only after a mishap occurs.

District traffic in-charge Hardeep Singh said that school managements had been directed from time to time to follow traffic rules, and to install speed-governors in the school vans.
 
"Continuous counselling sessions were held with drivers to ensure security of school students," he claimed.

The traffic wing has around 100 personnel to oversee traffic flow across several areas, including subdivisions Rajpura, Patiala, Nabha, Samana and Patran, and a few highway police control room (PCR) vehicles.