The Mysore Traffic Improvement Project (M-TRAC) is a 5-year plan project announced in the state budget just a few months back. This project is on the same lines as the Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project (B-TRAC) launched in 2010. The basic idea is to control and manage traffic and enforce traffic rules in the Mysore city as it is increasingly facing vehicular traffic density.
A detailed project report (DPR) was submitted on traffic improvement by the Mysore City Police to the government, for which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had allotted an amount of Rs. 40 crore to M-TRAC in his budget in Feb 2014. On 6th September 2014, Mr. Siddaramaiah, launched the project formally at the Karnataka Police Academy’s new auditorium. The CM said that the State Government as of now had released Rs. 6 crore for the project. MTRAC will be completed in the next five years at a cost of Rs. 40 crore in Mysore City.
Basic idea behind the M-TRAC project
This project was first introduced in Bangalore in 2010, a first of its kind in India by the then Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic), Bangalore City Police, Dr. M. A. Saleem. He is now the Police Commissioner of Mysore. Seeing the similar conditions in Mysore, Dr. Saleem felt that it is his duty to protect this clean, cultural and heritage city of our nation.
Though, the severity of the traffic problem is not in the same extent as in Bangalore, but still there is congestion and traffic issues which need proper steps to mitigate them, before these become all the more severe as in Bangalore. This is a technology-driven traffic management project and also an expensive one. M. A. Saleem stated that there is the need of advanced technology to manage, improve and to ensure smooth traffic flow. A proper action plan is required for effective transport management. Strategies and actions need to be planned in an organised manner so that there is no crisis in the future. It is seen that there has been a tremendous growth of vehicles in Mysore, a key tier-II city in the state of Karnataka. Mysore, at present has a population of about 12 lakh and there are more than 6.5 lakh vehicles.
Key highlights of the project
Police Commissioner M.A. Saleem has mentioned that the following areas will be emphasised on the M-TRAC project:
- Proper and regular traffic enforcement and surveillance
- Setting up a Central Area Traffic Control System
- Setting up an automated traffic enforcement centre
- More installation of traffic signal systems in various areas
- Proper maintenance and improvement of traffic junctions
- Interlinking of signals and new signals to be set up in at least 10-15 places across the city.
- Improvement of road markings and street furniture
- CCTV cameras will also be installed at prominent junctions
- Introducing a Corridor Traffic Control System
- Installing intelligent transportation systems. This will ensure that signals are functional on the basis of traffic density rather than operating on regular timings.
- A variable messaging system should also be developed and so on.
Who will implement M-TRAC?
In case of B-TRAC, the Bangalore Traffic Police and the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. are implementing it jointly. The Mysore City Traffic Police is an essential part of the project but it also requires additional support. It is still not decided as to who is going to implement the project along with Mysore city traffic police. It is the Government who has to finalise the agency. There are lack of parking facilities. There are congested roads. The Mysore City Corporation has the proposals to build multi-level parking and also to collect parking fees on roads. But no decision is yet been made on the matter. Ultimately it is a joint effort. The CM while launching the M-TRAC project also requested for people’s support for the successful implementation along with the traffic police.
This is indeed a very good initiative taken by the Mysore city police department. More such initiatives should also be followed in other states and cities so that the perpetual traffic problem in the country gets reduced or removed permanently. I am sure such a project if properly implemented by complete support from the government, the police, the traffic police and the public will reduce traffic congestion, accidents, road rage and other crimes on the roads.