Understaffed and overworked

Traffic police and RTOs face massive manpower shortage; existing officers putting in extra hours to fill the deficit

At a time when Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan would be inaugurating the Road Safety Fortnight starting today, its very own departments -- Traffic and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) -- are grappling with a massive manpower shortage. "We have only 14 officers who are a part of a flying squad to keep a tab on errant motorists," said a senior transport official, requesting anonymity. According to RTO officials, to fill the deficit, the existing officers are forced to work overtime on a regular basis.

Slogging it out: Just like the RTOs, even the Mumbai Traffic Police is 
working hard to cope with a deficit of 1,633 personnel against the 
sanctioned strength of 3,353, curtailing its ability to execute multiple 
drives simultaneously. Representation pic

Massive crunch
Similarly, even the Mumbai Traffic Police is working hard to cope with a deficit of 1,633 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 3,353. "The Traffic police can either increase the manpower or augment their surveillance via CCTV cams. This will help them keep an eye on all the junctions, and eliminate the need of being physically present at the spot," said A V Shenoy, a traffic expert.

Referring to Traffic department's latest crackdown against drink driving, sources from within the department disclosed that the manpower shortage has curtailed the department's ability in executing multiple drives simultaneously.

Official word
Confirming the vacancies, S K Sharma, Transport secretary, said, "There are several posts lying vacant and soon, something will be done about them."

Total number of vacancies across all the RTOs in Maharashtra

Total number of vacancies at Andheri, Mumbai Central and Wadala RTOs

Year         2007             2009   2011 (till Nov)

Rash driving  9,921 6,212                 7,687
Speeding 15,448        17,841        10,548
Jumping signal 234575        3,76,510     3,39,850
Lane cutting 87771          1,12,278     1,12,560

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