19 year old Arpitha , was on way back home when a speeding water tanker killed her on the spot. The young college student’s death in a road accident , triggered a rebellion of sorts against the Bengaluru City Traffic Police. Hundreds of youth took to the streets of Bengaluru while thousands took to the social media raising concerns about the negligent attitude of traffic sops and also the rampant corruption in the traffic police.
It may be recalled that in a horrifying accident , a water tanker ran over 20 people killing Arpitha a college student and Anand a bike rider on the spot. The anger of the people, poured on to the streets with hundreds joining protests.
Like every metro even Bengaluru has rapid traffic growth , accidents being the norm on the city roads. Last year alone 729 people were killed in road accidents on Bengaluru roads . This year January saw 58 lives being snuffed out. With over 54 lac vehicles , the city traffic police has failed to keep pace with vehicle growth.
The anger on streets was visible , as students raised slogans and demanded action. Sunil Jack a resident questioned,” after seeing this incident, I believe Bangalore Traffic Police and BBMP will rise from sleep and make necessary arrangement to the Pedestrians safety, at least by installing over Bridge between CBI and Hebbal Flyover, and near to Esteem Mall Hebbal. Hope Bangalore Traffic Police and BBMP prioritize first to save the innocent peoples life.”
While it was a few hundred who took to streets, thousands took the social media route to express their anger on the functioning of the Bangalore City Traffic Police. The facebook page and twitter accounts of Bangalore Traffic Police was bombarded with angry comments.
Like every traffic police in every metro ,charges of corruption are common, as a common sight in Bengaluru the policemen can be seen on street corners, hiding behind trees etc to make an extra buck. The major racket however, that has proved fatal on several occasions is the nexus between lorry owners, traffic police and transport department is the ‘Card’ system. Though the lorries , like the killer lorry in this incident are prohibited to ply on city roads during day they ply with brazen rashness. The card system is a syndicated operation under which the traffic policemen usually turn a blind eye to the violations in lieu of a fee paid by lorry owners on either a monthly or a daily basis to the traffic police and transport department. The unofficial ‘card’ issued by the corrupt officials gives a free hand to drive around the city without being challaned or hauled up by traffic police.
A lorry association office bearer not willing to disclose his identity said,” The whole system needs an overhaul. While the officials make a big killing every day as thousands of lorry owners oblige with the ‘card’ system, many of us lorry owners pay the price as the extra money is compensated either by overloading or by poorer maintenance standards”
The Bangalore City Traffic Police , Addl Commissioner B Dayananda speaking to TEHELKA denied the presence of any nexus, “I personally have not heard of any card system , but will look into it”.