Two months after it was launched with much fanfare, a bus developed specifically to inculcate traffic habits among school children is gathering dust at the Mumbai Police traffic training institute in Byculla.
The bus, which is supposed to visit schools across the city to educate students on traffic rules, has not moved an inch since it was inaugurated. Traffic authorities said manpower shortage and lack of fund allocation to the institute had put a spanner in the works of the initiative. The project titled ‘Mobile Traffic Training Children Park’ was launched in September and was funded by the Lions Club of Millennium.
The idea was to reach out to those schools that cannot manage to organise a visit for their students to the dedicated traffic parks at Cooperage and Ghatkopar. It was decided that the bus would be driven to these schools where the children would be provided training on traffic signals, zebra crossings and other traffic rules. They, in turn, would educate their parents, and other family members.
“The bus is gathering dust since its inauguration. The reason is that we don’t have the required staff of five to take the bus and set up an exhibition at the school premises. Moreover, the signal system in the bus has also malfunctioned and we don’t have funds to repair it,” said a police officer at the traffic institute, on condition of anonymity.
“The problem in a country like India is that people aren’t educated on traffic rules and hence the institute decided to bring out a bus to enlighten people on traffic rules. Presently, the staff strength here is 20 out of the required 50 personnel. With these numbers, it’s not possible to conduct lectures at 454 schools, including the 170 civic-run schools,” said the police officer.
“The traffic training institute has shortage of staff and problems are arising due to it,” said Nandkumar Mistri, assistant commissioner of police (Traffic) and vice-principal of the institute.
“We have been told not to take money from private sponsors for any of our events. How can we manage with no money and no staff to run this traffic training institute?” said another police officer working at the institute.