A traffic jam in Kothrud,improper functioning of a signal at Jedhe chowk,parking problems on M G Road…You no longer need to rely on radio channels to air your angst over the city’s traffic problems any more. The traffic police department has created an id,firstname.lastname@example.org,for citizens to email traffic-related concerns and suggestions.
Deputy Commissioner of Police,Manoj Patil (traffic),said,Traffic chaos has been a serious problem and to find solutions,we have been conducting meetings. We observed that most traffic-related problems are local in nature and need a common platform to be addressed. This (mail id) is an initiative to generate a dialogue between citizens and the traffic police.
The initiative got cracking on Tuesday. The department has appointed two administrators and a police inspector to deal with the mails. Another reason for the initiative is to welcome ideas and suggestions. The advantage of an email id is that the dialogue can be descriptive. For instance,only verbal descriptions can be conveyed on a telephone. But to an email,one can attach maps and photographs,thus giving a clearer picture, said Patil.
In the backdrop of increasing terror threats,the email can avoid the anonymity of the sender,unlike a telephone caller.
Although he did not comment on the urgency with which the mails would be dealt with,Patil said,Most citizens do not know basic traffic rules. For instance,not many know that waiting in the car by the roadside when the driver has got down for some work is still a violation of the ‘no parking’ rule. Most of them wrongly think that the traffic police control the meters on auto-rickshaws. We want to use the mail id to clear doubts and send the right information.
Welcoming the initiative,Vinay Kalra,a citizen said,It is definitely a good initiative considering that phone lines in the police departments are either busy or do not elicit any response. With an email,we can be sure we’ve done our bit as far as responsibility is concerned.
Experts in the field have welcomed the development. Milind Mehendale,a volunteer of Save Pune Traffic Movement,an organisation working in tandem with the traffic department for solving traffic problems,said,
Most citizens who raise civic issues are educated and acquainted with the internet. This can prove to be the best method of approaching the police,provided they take notice of the issues on time. This can be more effective if the traffic police provide a unique number or a single point of contact (SPOC) where one can call up and follow up the posted concerns.