We all understand that the job of a traffic policeman on city roads is very difficult. He faces pollution, honking and a lot of dust. He also has to stand in the sun and in downpour. All this spoils his health. Moreover, we have seen that when we adopt technology, compliance by the commuters is much higher than when a policeman stands on the street. Acceptability of technology is very high. For example, we installed a red light violation management system at some of the junctions a few years back. Earlier, when manpower was deployed there, people did not follow the rules but now, there is a remarked difference. If there were 100 cases of violation in an hour earlier, today they have reduced to hardly two or three. It is high time we adopt technology.
Now, all these violation management systems will be deployed at all the junctions in Hyderabad city. So, our target is to reduce the manpower to an appreciable level, maybe 30 percent or so, in the coming two years. People everywhere talk about getting more sanctions, more forces but the good news is that in Hyderabad City, in the last two years, we have adopted technology and reduced the manpower by 10 percent.
What is the manpower of the traffic police now?
Earlier we used to have 2750 people. Today we have less than 2500 people. The beauty about reducing manpower is that we have adopted an approach of cop-less junctions. People talk about the other cities of the world that have no cops on the roads. We, in Hyderabad City, have 15 cop-less junctions where no policeman stands on the junction and the signals run and the traffic moves without any problem. These junctions are covered by some mobiles. In case of any emergency or urgent requirement, the cops go and attend the issue. So, we are moving towards cop-less junctions now.
People everywhere talk about getting more sanctions, more forces but the good news is that in Hyderabad City, in the last two years,we have adopted technology and reduced the manpower by 10 percent.
How many CCTV cameras do you have in the city?
At present, we have 10,000 CCTV cameras which are owned by the public, i.e., the money is paid by the community and not by the department for these community owned cameras. It is like an investment from the public. Nearly 500 cameras are installed by the government. Now, we are executing a safe and smart city project under which the government is installing 10,000 cameras and the community is installing 90,000 cameras in the entire city. So, Hyderabad City will have nearly a lakh cameras.
Do you have e-challan system?
We have viewing centres. We get the feed to the central command and control centre. 80 percent of our challans are citizen-friendly, evidence based and non-contact. No policeman contacts any violator. It is done only through surveillance.
We have adopted a system where we don’t want an interface with the public because when there is an interface, there is a scope for various kinds of allegations and questions on the validity and the fairness of the police. So, we have adopted an evidence based system. We collect the evidence through surveillance mechanism and issue the challan. When we issue the e-challan, we also send a photograph to the violator. In case he still has any doubt over the veracity of the challan, he can make a representation to us. This has created a lot of goodwill among the citizens and the cases of assault or misbehavior from the police or the community side have come down drastically. This has established our system as community-friendly and technology oriented.