Here’s how Bengaluru’s new Traffic Commissioner plans to decongest roads

The newly appointed Special Commissioner of Traffic, MA Saleem, spoke to TNM on his priorities for the city’s roads.
Bengaluru Special Commissioner of Traffic, MA Saleem
Bengaluru Special Commissioner of Traffic, MA Saleem
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Bengaluru’s notorious traffic has been the biggest drawback of the city and is so infamous that for years, traffic woes have been fodder for memes too. But commuters have been complaining about how the situation has worsened post the pandemic-induced lockdown. Faced with elections, the Karnataka government made resolving traffic issues a priority and brought back MA Saleem, an IPS officer who had tried many innovative methods to decongest the roads. The newly appointed Special Commissioner of Traffic spoke to TNM on his priorities for the city’s roads.

The IPS officer said that the three most important tasks at hand are regulation of traffic, enforcement of rules, and road safety. He said that ensuring traffic police personnel are manning busy junctions since 7 am has brought down traffic jams during peak hours. In addition, banning goods vehicles during busy hours has improved the traffic flow, he said.  Over the last two weeks, many citizens have taken to social media to flag concerns, give suggestions and also have praised the quick solutions given by the new traffic police chief, which have brought down travel time in many places.

MA Saleem also said that the police plan on using technology for smoother flow of traffic. For short distances, traffic signals are to be synchronised to avoid pile-ups and over 3,200 CCTV cameras are to be installed to ensure automated raising of traffic tickets. This would ensure that the manpower with the police is more focussed on management of traffic, rather than collecting fines.

Bengaluru’s roads are built asymmetrically, and that often causes bottlenecks. Adding to this are multiple road works which get delayed indefinitely. MA Saleem said that for the first time, the traffic police has been in constant coordination with civic agencies like the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and others — which take up road works — and this has meant that the civil work gets completed faster.

Watch the full video of Pooja Prasanna’s interview with MA Saleem:

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