Bengaluru: Karnataka police has appointed a special commissioner to manage the traffic in Bengaluru. In a major overhaul of the city’s traffic management system, the new officer will be of the rank of additional director general of police (ADGP) and a deputy inspector general (DIG) rank officer will assist him, according to a state government order.

The state government has brought back M A Saleem, a 1993-batch IPS officer, to helm traffic in the city. To accommodate Saleem, the post of the Bengaluru city traffic police chief has been upgraded to ADGP rank, to which even the city police commissioner belongs. In a newly created post, M N Anucheth has been posted as Joint commissioner, Bengaluru city traffic police, to assist Saleem.

According to a senior officer, the decision was taken by the Chief Minister’s Office to address concerns over the traffic in the city. Several industrialists and investors had raised concerns over crippling traffic, particularly during Invest Karnataka 2022. Following this, CM Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds charge of Bengaluru development, set traffic management as a top priority.

Earlier, the traffic top post was reserved for an officer of the rank of inspector general of police. Bengaluru police got a special commissioner after more than 29 years. In 1993, HT Sagliana was appointed as the special commissioner to then police commissioner Kodanada Ramaiah.

“He (Saleem) is the right candidate for the post. He has vast experience in handling Bengaluru’s traffic and has a PhD in traffic management as well,” said Praveen Sood, DG and IGP Karnataka.

Saleem got a doctorate degree in traffic management from Bangalore University in 2010. His thesis was “Traffic Management in Metropolitan Cities: A framework to provide sustainable strategies to overcome traffic congestion and ensure greater safety on road”.

Prior to his promotion as Mysuru police commissioner, Saleem worked as the additional commissioner of police (traffic) between 2011 and 2015. During his stint, he streamlined traffic management in the city, which started adapting technology with the B TRAC project under Praveen Sood. Saleem was christened “One Way Saleem”, as he introduced one way on 122 key roads. He introduced several junction improvement programmes, streamlining traffic flow after a scientific study across the city.

He is credited with new initiatives: Safe Routes to Schools initiative, Local Area Traffic Management Committees and Public Eye for better participation of public, establishing Automation Enforcement Centre and Auto Drivers Display Cards in the city.

By Shadab

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