Traffic management in Gurgaon

Some months ago, I applied and joined as a Traffic Observer in Gurgaon.

Before that when an RWA member had suggested that I go over and attend a meeting at the DCP’s office for I drive around Gurgaon and would have a view on traffic issues, I was alarmed at the idea! And yet, I was interested in checking out the inside of a Government building and connecting with officials. Gurgaon as a city shows little administration so I thought if DCPs were encouraging public participation in any initiative, we ought to let them know that we’re keen to see reforms. But to join as a Traffic Warden, as the role was called at that time, was too confusing an idea because I didn’t see myself calmly parking my vehicle some place and actively navigating traffic in chaotic situations. I dislike chaos!

Well, curiosity and reasonable civic sense made me pass along my application and I joined as a Traffic Observer (TO). I was presented an id card at a ceremony by none other than the CM of Haryana!

Now to share with everyone the general traffic scene in New Gurgaon:
Traffic lights came into Gurgaon for the first time only about two years ago but the locals still remain unused to them and public doesn’t quite understand their schedule for staying on/off – just when one starts taking them seriously, one finds them off on the next use. Traffic rules aren’t clear and some of us try to follow what we manage of Delhi traffic rules. However, it is common to find helmet-less heads on two-wheelers; women and men cruising leisurely with tilted heads and cell-phones glued to their ears; driver/companion without seat belts on; utter chaos and speeding vehicles at roundabouts; parking nightmares all over the city; serious issues with road engineering; and unnamed and badly constructed roads where we’re fortunate in finding any.

Ever since I’ve acquired a TO’s label though, I’ve noted that the administration has appointed DCP/Traffic for the first time, ushered in more traffic personnel in the city, more traffic lights have come up, the police control room number logs calls from TOs on problems reported; and DCP/Traffic wants to have suggestions (not just problems!) from public on managing traffic better.

So, here’s what Gurgaonites can do to help:

  • regularly share traffic problems (while offering solutions) with TOs in their area, or
  • join as a TO to play an active role (ask me for steps involved)

After a couple of ad hoc meetings, DCP/Traffic and TOs have settled on the format of a monthly meeting on the last Friday of every month before which we’re expected to submit issues/suggestions in writing.

For now, I’m the only woman TO among the current 86 members in the city and also one out of only four members from the New Gurgaon or East Gurgaon area. The rest are from Old or West Gurgaon. I’d like the areas of Sushant Lok, DLF phases I-V, South City represented at the monthly meetings so specific problems concerning them are brought up. And, I’d like the administration to know that we want the city traffic better managed.

So, see how you’d like to contribute…

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Acroynms visitors might find baffling: RWA-Residents Welfare Association; DCP-Deputy Commissioner of Police; CM-Chief Minister; TO-Traffic Observer

18 thoughts on “Traffic management in Gurgaon

  1. The idea is good. Now the persons who claim that they think about the city and want to improve facilities, need to come forward and suggest new ideas for better management of the traffic in the city.

    Like

  2. That’s right. Most of us get frustrated with the state of Gurgaon traffic and parking — let’s see how many of us are able to work towards a change.

    Like

  3. Yes a very novel idea indeed, will definitely do some good if not solve the crumbled state of traffic in this city.

    I had an idea, what if we all start a public watch group, like what observers at your end do, but at the individual level to a collective civil group, a sort of “drivers in gurgaon” union if you might. Working in association with the govt, the admin and the police, it will get the traffic and the drivers together for a common cause, goal (improved traffic situation in the city) and give us a voice.

    What are the problems that traffic faces..(hers is my take, please add what you have observed as well)
    1. Infrastructure and roads
    2. Traffic management
    3. Road sense and traffic etiquettes in the part of the drivers driving on these roads.

    All of these problems can be further divided and understood broadly and incisively.

    I think a possible road to solution is a clear voice and mass association of drivers in this city who believe in this common cause.
    So the policem the admoinistration, the media and other rouge drivers will all take us seriously and atleast the issue will be addressed seriously.

    This is what i propose, i dont think this is something we cant do or is not do able.

    Please respond to this and contact me if any of you believe in this as much as I do.
    email: dodo.juan@gmail.com
    Thanks

    Like

  4. Chander,

    Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions. I agree with the need for forming coalition groups to take up issues with authorities. This need is even more pronounced in Gurgaon as development is scattered and not so much for public good as for business.

    I’m all for forming groups to interact with HUDA as lots of infrastructural inadequacies can be fulfilled only by them. In case of traffic management though, traffic observers themselves can play this role without forming a separate body — they can form small committees along geographic or issue based concerns and find various ways to interact with DCP/traffic and other DCPs. These observers can be diverse and include drivers of various kind that Gurgaon roads witness so the issues brought up are wide-ranging and do not just concern a niche group. At the last month’s meeting, DCP/traffic proposed a removal of regionwise enchroachment of public areas by shopkeepers so more usable area is created for traffic – a group of TOs with interest in the Sadar area was requested to take some traffic personnel on the next Friday to clean a particular stretch. This was also in response to complaints by many Sadar based TOs about lack of parking space in their area. More such issue-based action can be undertaken where participation of traffic personnel would see immediate results. What do you say?

    Like

  5. Hi Jyoti,
    You are doing a noble work, Many people die on so called hi tech Gurgaon toll road. It is pretty sad for loss of human life but cost of life is far cheap in India. Anyway I have been working on the most advanced motorway in world that is M – 42 and have been investigating various issues related to safety and operational efficiency etc.etc. I think there is lot more to be done on traffic education, enforcement, traffic engineering, traffic management and more important a collaborative approach rather than adversial or blame game approach. If you wish I can contribute towards this noble cause which you have undertaken.
    Regards

    Like

  6. Hi Raakesh,

    The group of TOs in Gurgaon would certainly benefit from individuals with experience, ideas, patience and the drive to organise the city roads and traffic. Please let me know whether you live in Gurgaon (if yes, which area) and if you’d like an application form to be a TO. In case you’d like to attend the next TOs meeting on Aug 29, please mention so. Any specific suggestions/problems you’d like to share with DCP/traffic should be written out before the meeting.
    regards

    Like

  7. Hi Jyoti,

    I would like to contribute my time as a TO. I live in DLF phaseV and really feel that all of us need to do something about Gurgaon rather than only cribbing.

    I would like to attend the aug 29 mtng, please advise.
    thanks

    Like

  8. Hi Badal,

    Sounds good. Am separately mailing you a form that you can use to jot down problems+solutions concerning areas of your interest. Look forward to meeting you on the 29th.

    Like

  9. Hi Jyoti.
    I feel sorry about not seeing your blog for quite some time. I do not live in Gurgaon neither I aspire to be TO because I do not know the traffic and road conditions in Gurgaon except what I read in newspaper, One thing is for sure the real estate developers have made the mess there. The development approvals for malls, shopping complexes and office complexes have been made without any regard or consideration to traffic or trip generations. I see there is lack of traffic planning and traffic management. Lack of reliable and quality public transport, excessive dependence of personalized vehicles have made the situation even worse. It is suggested people use car pool, employers of each complex make a travel plan for their employees to discourage car use. New building plans to be approved after getting the approvals from traffic and highway authorities, effective transport and environment impact assessment due to traffic growth to be ensured. The huge multistories along the busy corridors to be avoided, Higher density without supportive public transport is bound to crate traffic chaos, A holistic planning is need of hour, earn carbon foot print to reduce developmental cost. Enforce the traffic rules with flaw less gadgets rather than human beings, optimize signal timings, carry out the network modeling. There is a lot more can be thought and done provided we need to arouse the passion for it.
    Any way too much for a day. If you find any value in above or want to discuss further you may call me at {number}.
    Regards

    Like

  10. Hi Raakesh,

    I agree that much of the chaos in the city is because of multiple developers who’ve attempted at creating islands that appear self-sufficient in one look but don’t make living in the city any easier. It’s upsetting to see ad hoc solutions being put in practice because as you say, the basic planning hasn’t gone into propping up malls and complexes. No public transport, no names for roads, poorly constructed roads make traffic management an impossible exercise. The planning body HUDA appears inaccessible so in a TO’s role, for now we can only help resolve very immediate issues. I’ll be in touch to think through any specific challenges that can be remedied through brainstorming…many thanks.

    Like

  11. Hi Jyoti
    Nice to read your thoughts, yes to start with ask these big developers, corporate houses to sponsor good traffic management studies at the point of congestions or at the bottlenecks, At least ask them to sponsor some of good traffic marshals so they are there during peak hours and help in regulating the traffic and manage the traffic to the best, this experiment will give real insight about the problem and then you can make your recommendation for improvements, may be improvement in physical capacities of network or by just optimizing the signal timings or by just putting the traffic on right lanes. Once you start observing these trends you will automatically find the solution, The best way could be to video graph these flows during morning and evening peaks and then analyze the reason of flow breakdown or queue formation, it is nothing just simply analyzing any problem, you will find the solution. Hope I made my point correctly. Rest till the next mail.
    Regards

    Like

  12. Raakesh, in the last year or so, we’ve seen much increase in the number of traffic personnel all around the city — but they could be more motivated to be vigilant and interested in their work. Most traffic-laden roundabouts show 2-3 traffic cops but their presence doesn’t deter violators because of their own lax body-language. It must be acknowledged that they have a tough job to be out all day in the heat and rain but I wish they looked more involved and decisive. So, we don’t need more marshals, we just need those present to better regulate the traffic. And, yes it would help to have volunteers among TOs from RITES or other bodies to organise critical points with constructive inputs.

    Like

  13. I do not know much about Gurgaon but the roundabouts are not suitable for heavy traffic that too for Indian traffic and Indian drivers where licenses are delivered at home with out even showing the face to the officer. It is indeed a dismal situation. My idea was to have corporate sponsored quality marshals not like a typical khaki clad malnourished un educated, poorly paid lot from our villages. These are the poor guys who just stand there to earn their livelihood by risking their lives, Certainly not, I had seen some college going students doing some traffic management in C P. There is a urgent need to carry out the traffic studies and then look for holistic longterm solutions. I think RITES have got expertise in this area, Yo may speak to Mr Sachdeva DGM in RITES. There is a solution to the problem. Traffic volumes are far greater in US and UK but these are managed properly, We Indians are very simple, bit of strong enforcement will yield the quicker result.

    Like

  14. Hi,

    I tried writing to the DCP of traffic the email bounced. I tried calling the phone is never available.
    I have worked on some plan for Shankar Chowk as I work at IBM Daksh at Infinity Towers. I would be more than willing to implement the solutions with the Trafiic personel. I can easily show proof of concept onany of the recommendations.
    If they are not convinced they can revert to their existing methods. My number 9810203219. I just need some one who is in charge to listen and be willing to try it out.

    I found this site as I was seraching for the traffic contacts.

    Thanks
    Anand

    Like

    1. Hi Anand,

      In my 7-8 meetings over 2 years with the Gurgaon Traffic Department, I saw that the department intent was noble, enough traffic personnel were inducted into the workforce but I didn’t see clarity on the do’s and don’ts for drivers on Gurgaon roads, nor did I see motivation in the traffic personnel to enforce good driving practices in a consistent way. Traffic lights, poor state of roads, missing street lights or road signage are big issues that aren’t being addressed in a cohesive way either.

      I wouldn’t trust any email to reach the Traffic dept although a gmail id was provided to TOs. I’d just direct you to the phone numbers on http://gurgaon.haryanapolice.gov.in/template/contactus.htm. DCP/Traffic’s office can be called for current email ids. Additionally, ADC, Gurgaon Praveen Kumar would be an officer to give suggestions to. The Traffic Observer Coordinator, Abhay Jain 9810009988 would help understand the system and how one can get one’s voice across.

      All the best, Jyoti

      Like

    1. Nishant…3-wheelers seem to have a strong lobby in Gurgaon or I don’t know why else traffic cops posted at the Huda City Center don’t manage to rein them in on their bad parking. Overcharging by 3-wheelers may be above the traffic dept’s purview though.
      One change to celebrate is that now the Gurgaon Traffic Police is listening to people through their Facebook page…so, go ahead and post your suggestions there too.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s