Panel wants end to multiplicity of authorities in Delhi

Suggests that Delhi traffic police be brought under the Delhi government.

In the wake of the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old woman aboard a moving bus in the capital last month, a parliamentary panel looking into the state of public transport in the country on Wednesday reviewed Delhi's transport system.

The panel held a meeting with all the authorities involved in the transport system on Wednesday. Sources said the panel felt that multiplicity of authorities in Delhi was resulting in a situation wherein nobody was held accountable.

It discussed suggestions such as bringing Delhi traffic police under the city government.

While the panel felt multiplicity of authorities in the transport system was a problem across the country, Delhi's case is peculiar and complicated given the fact that the enforcement agency — the traffic police — is under the Ministry of Home Affairs, while the transport department, which makes rules, is with the city government.

Sources said the committee felt that the duality was leading to authorities "passing the buck".

For instance, the bus in which the paramedic student was raped was impounded six times between 2011 and 2012. While the traffic police argued that the existing penalties for repeated violations was not enough to act as a deterrent, effectively lobbing the ball on to the city government's court which deals with law making, the transport department feels the police should have acted tough.

Though the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Sitaram Yechury discussed options like bringing the traffic police under the city government, sources said it is unlikely to make any specific recommendation to that effect.

It is likely to stress the need for ending the multiplicity of authorities and suggest setting up of an omnibus authority to bring both enforcement and law-making bodies under it.

... contd.

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