Pune mayor asks RTO to make driving test difficult
City mayor Mukta Tilak on Monday asked the officials of regional transport office (RTO) of Pune division to make the driving test conducted by the department more difficult than it is now.
Tilak while speaking at the inauguration function of road safety week at College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) where Babasaheb Ajri, regional transport officer of Pune and K Venkateshan, commissioner of Pune police, were present among others, said making driving test difficult is necessary to reduce the number of road accidents.
While addressing the children from various schools present at the event, she said, “Let the work of the RTO officials become difficult. The tests for acquiring license should be made more difficult. I believe this will bring down the number of accidents (and subsequent deaths).”
Tilak’s remarks came in the light of the severe staff crunch faced by the RTO. Earlier, while addressing the media in November 2018, Ajri had said that 13 officers were suspended on September 21 and that had affected the daily work-load of the department.Another set of suspensions in December had led to further loss of manpower.
During the event Ajri had explained the concept of attaining zero deaths on road to the school children present during the event. The others present at the event including BB Ahuja, director of CoEP, AV Mannikar, senior deputy director of ARAI, Sandip Patil, superintendent of police, Pune rural, and commissioner Venkatesham, all stressed on the issue of accident fatalities. Tejaswi Satpute, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Pune, and Namrata Patil, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Pimpri Chinchwad were also present.
Before Tilak arrived, commissioner Venkatesham had claimed that the city police had recorded 44 per cent less fatal deaths in January 2019, as compared to December 2018. He also added that in December 2018, the police had recorded 35 per cent less fatalities as compared to November 2018.
RTO suggests no private vehicles in shopping areas
Babasaheb Ajri, regional transport officer of Pune, has suggested that the use of private vehicles in crowed places like shopping centres should be prohibited.
In order to come up with a working solution, Ajri while speaking at a programme on road safety week on Monday suggested that a team from the College of Engineering, Pune, (COEP) should be formed to work on a proposal.
“Places like Deccan, Camp, Laxmi road, Jungli Maharaj (JM) road and Mahatma Gandhi road and Lakshmi road, where citizens prefer shopping, should be made vehicle-free,” said Ajri.
“The decision to convert crowded streets into walking plazas at JM road or Laxmi road can be taken by Pune Municipal Corporation and for Camp by Pune Cantonment Board,” he added.
Earlier, Pune Cantonment had turned MG road into walking plaza during the weekend in 2007.
He suggested that an elaborate parking arrangement for private vehicles at the periphery of these areas need to be made before such a prohibition could be implemented.
In order to commute in the area, public e-vehicles’ hop-on-hop-off service should be introduced. The initiative will help reduce not only fatalities but also pollution caused by vehicles in these areas, he said.
“Until we implement self-discipline, accidents will keep happening,” he said.