Gurgoan's third eye...fails!
Only a good thought is not enough to produce a desirable result, it needs well thought-out planning, funding, vision, research, professionalism, back-up plan and above all dedication to go on with the project to achieve its target. However, in recent past several good initiatives were taken in the national capital region but all of them failed miserably. Among these failed projects the “3rd eye” project, which was initiated with great pomp and show, is hanging fire because of unavailability of resources, which include sponsors and software providers. The city traffic police have been urging the state government to sponsor the programme. The project was launched on August, 2011. It was launched by the Gurgaon traffic police to keep a tab on the traffic violators.
“The project is on hold for years. However, we are working hard to start it soon. We have the mobile sets and equipments but not the sponsors at the moment. Also, there is no service provider for the software to run the project. We had discussed the matter with higher authority to sort out this issue and requested the state government to sponsor this project,” said a senior Gurgaon police official.
The project turned out to be a huge success and was appreciation by all. Earlier in an effort to keep an eye on violators and control incidents of road rage, the city traffic police had joined hands with mobile manufacturer Nokia to launch the ‘3rd Eye’ project. The project, aimed to leverage technology as an enabler to curb traffic disruption in Millennium City, was implemented on all major roads including MG Road and Gurgaon Expressway.
Denave, a technology-powered sales enabling service provider, had created a software – Tselina – that was supposed to be integrated with Nokia E5 to capture and report traffic rule violations. The project, first of its kind in the country, was designed and jointly set up by the Gurgaon police and Millennium City Welfare Association, a major mobile phone manufacturer and an IT firm.
Till October 19, 2011 the city traffic police have captured the road violators on camera using mobile cameras. 2,000 persons have been fined since then. “The Third Eye project has been a huge success in nabbing the offenders. It should be started soon,” said a senior traffic police official.
Earlier the state government agreed to provide financial support to the traffic police for procuring the special device required for carrying out the operation. The Rs 3 lakh-device helps cops click pictures of offenders and send them to the police control room for preparing challans. After Nokia withdrew its support, the city police asked the state government to find another source of funding.
“We have around 146 mobile sets and necessary infrastructure to run the project. Now there will be a service provider for the software, which is needed to run the project. We have discussed the matter with the higher authority and they have sanctioned Rs 3 lakh to purchase the equipment,” said the senior police official.
Even after re-launching pink auto rickshaw service in December 2014, equipped with “panic alarm button” which women commuters can press at the time of distress, the service which had started in year 2010 for women commuters are no more in a state of similar jubilation and boastfulness. These autos are disappearing from the city roads because of the auto and sharing auto mafia and lack of dedicated stand for them, the auto service is now fighting for its survival. Pink autos were reintroduced in January 2013, following the Nirbhaya gang rape. But owing to poor response, the service was shut after a while. In a later study, it was found that lack of exclusive safety features was among the main causes of poor response from women commuters.
“The auto and sharing auto drivers deliberately blocked the roads to stop way of other auto drivers. Lack of parking space and no separate stands for pink auto and other rickshaw and taxi have been creating problem for all. They block our way and compel passengers to board their vehicles. They also fight themselves to ferry the passengers. An argument with them is a sure way to land up in trouble,” said a pink auto driver. The pink auto driver further said that auto mafia in Gurgaon and auto unions are against other organised auto services.
“The pink auto concept was a good initiative but due to the poor management and auto mafia, this service is going to end soon,” said Ankita Sharma, a commuter.
Meanwhile, auto union leaders said there are some anti-social elements who become auto drivers and ply vehicles illegally. “We are aware of the problem and are doing our bit to improve the situation. We are in touch with the city administration and we will work with them to ease the problems of commuters,” said Raju Pradhan, a sharing auto union leader in Gurgaon.
“We can only challan them for the traffic violations but this issue must be sort out by the regional transport authority (RTA) and city administration,” said a traffic police official. “This is the internal matter of the auto unions and drivers and we can’t do much about it,” said Bharti Arora, DCP traffic, Gurgaon.
Rapid Metro, India’s first privately built and operated metro system, can only be successful in India if it gets sufficient support from the government and the private industry. The third phase of Rapid Metro – a 7 km stretch from Moulsari Avenue up to the old Delhi-Gurgaon road – will have to be shelved if the Haryana government does not provide at least 40 per cent viability gap funding (VGF). The VGF is usually a one-time payment for a project that is economically feasible but cannot attract sufficient private investment because of viability concerns.
“While the second phase (south extension) of our network is shaping up pretty well, it will not be possible for us to start the third phase (north extension, towards Udyog Vihar) unless the government provides us at least 40 per cent VGF. It is not economically viable for us to construct Phase III, which is likely to cost around Rs 3,000 crore,” said Sanjiv Rai, former CEO of Rapid Metro.
Rai further said that the Rapid Metro is not doing financially well because of lack of support from the private and government sector. He further explained: “The private sector and the government have failed us completely. When we had decided to start this Metro project, all offices in the nearby area showed enthusiasm and said they will ensure they stop providing cab services so that their employees start using our Metro. But they did not do so. They say they are scared employees will resign if cabs aren’t provided. Also, the government has not stopped buses and autos from plying along our Metro route, as was envisaged. We have written to the chief minister to do something about this issue but so far nothing has been done.”