The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has finally taken up the traffic problem seriously. Last month,it set up a maintenance cell and a traffic management cell at its headquarters in Pimpri. Now,for the first time,it has decided to appoint a retired assistant commissioner of police as the chief adviser in the traffic management cell. The proposal for appointment of a retired ACP will come up for approval in next weeks standing committee meeting.
The moves follow much criticism from civic activists,who have been accusing the traffic police of a whimsical approach and attacking the PCMC for failing to set up a single parking lot despite the development plan reserving at least 50.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said the retired ACP will be taken on contract and the move does not require government permission. He will be tasked to provide us inputs about traffic management and traffic planning. He will be the key liaison officer between the civic traffic cell and the traffic police, he said.
The retired ACP will communicate to the civic body what exactly the traffic police want and which plan they want to implement in the city so as ensure smooth movement of traffic. He will be like a bridge between the traffic police and the PCMC, Sharma said.
Suresh Bhoomkar (58),who recently retired as ACP,has worked with the traffic police in Mumbai and Pune. He was an integral part of Dr P S Pasrichas team that initiated a number of steps to streamline Mumbais traffic scene.
Bhoomkar said,I will first study the traffic problems in Pimpri-Chinchwad. I will carry out an extensive survey of the traffic bottlenecks in town,find out the reasons behind the chaos and suggest solutions to ensure unhindered traffic movement, he said. My thrust will be on education,planning and management.
Bhoomkar said in Mumbai their team helped introduce modern systems like automatic traffic control to increase speed of traffic and ease chaos. Effective traffic management,short-term and long-term traffic planning,public awareness campaigns and foresight were the keywords of our team in Mumbai, he said.
The PCMC is also awaiting the arrival of a civic deputy engineer,Bapu Gaikwad,who was sent to IIT Delhi to do an M Tech in traffic management. In another two months,he should be returning after completing his M Tech. He is expected to provide us specialised advice on traffic, Sharma said.
The traffic management cell set up last month is headed by executive engineer Satish Ingale. The other three members are drawn from the electrical,town planning and civic departments. The cell will soon be housed in a separate building,PCMC commissioner Sharma said.
He said the PCMC plans to set up multi-storey parking lots on the Pune-Mumbai highway. The proposal was not approved in the last meeting as I was not there. The members apparently did not agree to the fine amount. I am hopefully of their nod of next civic body meeting, he said.