While rejecting traffic department's demand for increasing staff strength to monitor and regulate traffic in the city, the Bombay high court on Tuesday questioned what action it had taken against traffic police personnel for dereliction of duty.
Hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Bombay Bar Association seeking implementation of traffic rules and regulations, a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik directed the joint commissioner of police, traffic, to form zonal advisory committee to be headed by deputy commissioners of police of respective zones within three weeks. The committee shall comprise representatives from the civic body, Western India Automobile Association and a resident of the area
"What are you (traffic department) talking about shortage of manpower? Even with existing (traffic) police, cars are stopped on the zebra crossing (during signals). What action have you taken against offending traffic police personnel who don't act?" said justice Karnik.
Government pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade admitted that there was a need for change in mindset of the police as well as public. "The progress is slow, but we are working on it," said Nalavade. Justice Karnik asked: "How many prosecutions have you (government) lodged (against policemen) to change mindset?"
Nalavade said that the traffic department has sent a proposal to the state home department for modernisation and improvement of traffic management, including demand for more manpower. However, it has not received any reply as yet. Nalavade also submitted an affidavit filed by Pandit Kale, assistant commissioner of police, planning division, stating that they have studied the "Technology Driven Traffic Management" system implemented by Bangalore police.
Suggesting that the system is not feasible for Mumbai due to lack of digitised data of registrations of vehicles, Kale's affidavit states that there would be need for more manpower. "There will be need to increase manpower at the traffic chowki for preparation of notices, dispatching them to violators, tracing out the addresses of those whose addresses do not tally with their MDL (motor driving licence) details and attending courts proceeding for cases which are not compounded."