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Wouldn't PRAJA have been a better option for BTP?

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EnforcementTraffic

The Facebook page of the traffic police, set up two months ago, is a much-needed forum for Bangaloreans to bring the violator in uniform to book. More than 3,000 have already joined the page to share information and make evidence public. Many others are adding their comments.

Said Mr Praveen Sood, Addl Commr, Traffic: “As much as police appreciate people bringing to notice their own men throwing the rules to the winds, don’t make it a grievance cell. We want this page to turn into a forum to share ideas to make traffic in the city better.” He said the forum should have discussions on various factors of the city traffic scenario, so that people know there are multiple aspects to most of the issues. “It is not just listening to people, we want people to listen to us as well. There are many ideas and concepts we want to convey to the people, and achieve that via Facebook,” said Sood.


For the full report in the ToI, click here.

Now, I would have liked to think that "praja.in" provided a far more suitable platform for "discussions on various factors of the city traffic scenario" than the 'facebook' provided (of course, with my limited understanding of facebook, which I have started using only after BTP came on to it), and it has been on the scene from far longer, and Mr Sood knows about it too. And, it is seeing these strengths in praja.in that Mr Manivannan, IAS, has been coming on to it from long, and had eventually even gone on to suggest that it could become the platform for the debates of the city/ state's upper house. So, Mr Sood's opting for facebook instead of praja.in is something that Prajagalu need to give thought to, if we are to pursue the goal set for us by Mr Manivannan.

Well, whatever, Mr Sood's bringing the BTP onto an interactive public platform is certainly to be appreciated.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

psaram42's picture

Normally Police tend to be arrogant. When questioned

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Mr. Sood and many IPS officers are an exception because of their higher breeding. It is not a surprise that Mr. Sood has brought the “violator in Uniform” to the face book. As it is, anybody can post in Praja what they do on face book, too. Mr. Sood may perhaps decide to be on Praja if he sees any benefit.

dvsquare's picture

Praja is good for suggestions but FB page is good reality check

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 Murali Sir,

I agree, here at Praja, we have wonderful suggestions to the government authorities to act upon, but the question is - from the govt authorities How many read it? How many think about implementing about it? How many even think good-bad about it? How many give any weightage about it? And that's where Facebook comes into picture. Its more connected to youth, from all the areas of Bangalore, many people can post violations pictures not loosing their cool icons. And BTP at the other end get to have a reality check to what's going on roads, And then media helping further to check these statistics and news from the facebook page and publishing in the newspapers. The final result is - more and more people posting violations snaps, BTP taking action by ticketing them, and a general awareness is spread among tech-savvy people about road-safety, RTO rules, ownership-transfer rules, number plate rules et etc.

In reality, many educated and tech savvy people are also not aware of many rules etc on the roads, and BTP page on facebook serves a good medium there.

Plus, a good medium of communication between we and BTP or Mr. Sood itself.

Deepak

murali772's picture

dereliction of duty

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Some 15 days back, the AdlCP(tr) posted a lengthy note on Facebook, which began with "Dear friends - While we can congratulate ourselves for touching the figure of 5500 in a limited period since we started face book for Bangalore Traffic Police, we need to rethink the objectives and methodology of interacting on this forum", and ended with "Let us make this forum more productive, more interactive by increasing the members so that the contradictions can be eliminated by the members themselves rather than directing everything on us. The idea is not 50000 people telling one person to what to do but telling each other as to what we need to do or not do. And that is how this forum will become more robust & productive. It is not a question of 'You' and 'I' but an issue of 'We' that can we make this forum more effective. Shall we give it a try?"

The janata loved this, and accolades and all kinds of suggestions started pouring in, making the AdlCP(tr) more of a hero than he already was.

From about a month before this, ie after the AdlCP(tr) had admitted before the Information Commission that the enforcement of the M V Act in respect of display of the registration number plates was the BTP's responsibility (check this), I had once in a while been posting pictures of violations in this regard on the BTP Facebook wall. Many others followed suit too. The BTP used to respond with a request to specify the time and place in order for them to book the complaint. While providing the details in response, I also added that "You don't need to chase them specifically. Just get on to the road, and they are there all over. Resulting out of your drive at catching and fining those jumping traffic lights, that kind of offence has perceptibly reduced atleast at the more important junctions, where your men are generally present. If you carry out a simultaneous drive at enforcing the number plate display rules, I am sure, you will see the same effect here also. The pictures we are posting are just to show the extent of the violations". Others too responded with similar comments.

So, when, somewhere in the middle of the AdlCP(tr)'s lengthy note, I had noticed " - - - our limitations too need to be appreciated. In fact many of our limitations cannot be shared in the public domain for obvious reasons", I chose to turn a party-pooper and posed to him with "By that, Sir, if you are saying that you cannot take action against those who refuse to display number plates as per M V Act, but continue to do so only in Kannada, I am afraid that's not good enough, particularly considering the heightened terrorism scenario prevailing across the country. The seriousness of the issue can be guaged from a reading of the post linked here, which I am sure you are not unaware of. And, as for citizen participation in traffic management, I had suggested this "traffic marshals" programme to you long ago. Many on PRAJA had endorsed it and expressed readiness in participating. And now, we have the even bigger Facebook community. Do you want to give it a shot now?"

The AdlCP(tr) however chose to ignore all of these, and responded only to matters where he did not have any "limitations", self-imposed, I would say, apart from its amounting to dereliction of duty on his part. So much so, one person even went on to comment "Yes but where is the will? Even the AdlCP(tr) (he had named him), despite his being better and tech friendly, has remained silent and no action. I thought with such FB interface etc, things may improve, but all appears for the show".

In response to a subsequent post, I alluded to the matter of dereliction of duty, as well as to my blog on the Information Commission order (check here) in my comment. Immediately thereafter, between his assistant and perhaps himself, AdlCP(tr) seems to have removed all my posts and comments from the BTP wall. At the same time, the odd comments by Kannada chauvinists like (1) "BTP and all fellow Indians - Kannada is the official language of Karnataka and vehicle No plates can be in Kannada. Rules and regulations are made in accordance with Locals, not for people who immigrate to the city. why dont BTP and the others simply understand this logic"; (2) "Majority of the people in Karnataka can read alphabets and numbers written in Kannada only, and not in English and Arabic respectively", the AdlCP(tr) has allowed to remain, whereas, as a responsible and senior officer, one would have expected him to advise them on the correct position as per the law of the land.

Incidentally, the fallacy in 2nd argument above was exposed by another person who cited the case of the currency notes, which are common for the entire country, and even those generally classified as 'illiterates' have enough knoweledge of the English alphabets and Arabic numerals they are made out in to distinguish them.

And, even as recently as on 21st July, one person had posted this picture of a 'Cheetah' on the BTP Fecebook wall. Mercifully, the response from BTP didn't ask for time and date.

Now, it may be argued on the AdlCP(tr)'s behalf that as a non-Kannadiga officer (though, belonging to the Karnataka cadre), if he went about enforcing the rules srtictly on these 'sensitive' issues, a Mukhyamantri Chandru (supposedly the Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority) may call up Mr Ashoka (the Home Minister), and between them, they may shunt him off to some Gulbarga or Bidar, putting an end to the comforts of Bangalore city life the AdlCP(tr) has been enjoying all along. However, such an argument can be extended as an excuse to avoid facing up to any and every situation, which in fact is what is happening all over, leading to the near anarchic situation prevailing in the state as well as the country. And, when Mr Prakash Singh, IPS (retd) (the former DIG of Police from MP, whose PIL led to the Supreme Court ordering the setting up of a committee to advice on the course of 'Police Reforms', out of which came the Soli Sorabjee Committee report - check this) stated recently, in the context of the Mumbai bomb blasts, that "building up of a secure environment is all about enforcement of rules at the 'thana' levels, more than at the Home ministry levels, and, any kind of laxity there will necessarily have its impact higher up the command chain", this is exactly what he meant.

Actually, if this was what was bothering the AdlCP(tr), at least when the matter reached the Information Commission (a quasi-judicial body) level, he could have informed the Home minister that the matter had now become serious, and he had no option other than to take necessary action. That he chose to ignore it even beyond that stage, plainly classifies as dereliction of duty. If one wants to play so safe, he should plainly opt out of government (public) service.

Another moral of the story could be that if you try to use 'transparency' just to project your image, there is always the risk that it will back-fire.

PS:
1) I may add here that I have great appreciation for the work the AdlCP(tr) has done so far. But, along with that comes expectations of more from him. And, that's perhaps where the problem lies. You can rationalise that he is after all a human being - but, it can only be rationalisation!

2) I would also like to stress that this is not part of any campaign against the use, or promotion of Kannada. I fully support all pursuits towards promotion of the language, and the local culture through it. And, not just Kannada, but even Tulu, Konkani, Coorgi (and even Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, and Hindi), these being the other mother tongues of sizable sections of Bangaloreans/ Kannadiga's. For more on that, please browse through this blog.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

You can rationalise There is

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You can rationalise

There is a danger in rationalizating & sympathizing. It leads us to bypass right things for "convinient" things. When numbers in currency can be understood why not on license plates? License plate is the wrong place to display love for the language, it has been clarified multiple times that one can have an additional plate in local language as long as the 2 primary ones are in English

mbnataraj's picture

Bhashabhimana- no excuse for CMV violation

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Nice to confirm my suspicions about kannada only number plates being used for illegalities.

I have written several letters to the governor, transport commissioner, chief minister in this

regard. Bhasha abhimaana -love of the language- cannot condone violation of CMV.

Anyone be it politician or policeman condoning it is an accomplice in crime. Most of the time these fellows using kannada plates especially autodrivers are goondas, rude, obnoxious,cheats and criminals. My family avoids using kannada number plate autos. KDA chairman chandru should note. Almost all wheelie drivers who kill maim themselves and others also sport kannada number plates.

The other menace is reflecting italics, microscopic impossible to read defective plates.

Now I have seen even kannada script in italics, demonic style- like dripping blood!.

Cell phone driving, smoking while driving, multiple riding on 2 wheelers, wheelies, failure to yield, jumping redlights etc all moving violations should be additionally penalized may be to the extent of 1000 or 2000 per violation as RECKLESS PUBLIC ENDANGERMENT.

I have seen four children and 2 parents riding on one motorcylce.
In any civilized country the penalty would be for reckeless endangerment of a minor child.

Incidentally minor child is any one upto the age of 18 and considered to be  under guardianship.

So underaged driving and riding with minor children would be severely penalized.

In a recent case a parent who allowed a 12 year old to drive his SUV because he had consumed wine, had his license suspended besides fines.

Without additional penalty the meagre 100, 200 rupees fine is no deterrent.

psaram42's picture

Deflationary tactics should be nipped in the bud.

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Love for mother tongue is the manifestation of peoples love for their near and dear. However the same need not be mixed up with living in harmony with the society at large. The linguistic division of our country is proving to be the spoil sport.

It would be nice if the police immediately rectify the Cheeta motor bike number plate compliant with MV act of Karnataka, irrespective of obvious compulsions.

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