Green signal to traffic parks

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 18:55 hrs

pFour of Delhis traffic training parks the oldest of which came up in 1964 have been in a state of neglect But this is about to change An initiative of the traffic police hopes to turn these deserted destinations into tourist hubsppIt&rsquos been almost 48 years since the childrens traffic park at Baba Kharak Singh Marg was inaugurated Over the years the park has seen some restoration and new quirks like driving simulators being added to it but it never quite become a popular destination for schoolchildren to learn road safetyppAs soon as you enter the park you can see miniature roads speed bumps cycle tracks traffic lights and fake banks to give children a look and feel of how the city traffic can be But it doesnt take long to realise that the park which came up in 1964 is crying for a major revamp The signals all work the roads are fairly even and look good to hold mock road safety drills But the road signs are fading and the &ldquomini city&rdquo inside the park is literally on the verge of a collapseppDelhi is home to four such parks &mdash apart from the one on Kharak Singh Marg theres one each in Punjabi Bagh Bal Bhawan and Roshanara Road The parks were initially conceptualised with the aim of creating awareness about traffic rules among children aged 8 to 14 Lack of manpower and interest from children and schools has now left in a state of utter neglect A constable on duty at one of the parks says &ldquoThere are only two of us here during the day&rdquo These constables are well versed in traffic rules and safety drills but they need more staff to run this place &ldquoThe concrete structures are old and can collapse anytime&rdquo he saysppPerhaps that&rsquos why the Delhi traffic police has given a nod for a complete overhaul of these parks starting from the one at Baba Kharak Singh Marg Sudhir Yadav special commissioner of police traffic says the new park will be an ideal place for motorists to test their driving skills in real-time situations &ldquoDelhi College of Arts and Commerce has conceptualised the design and this particular park will be developed within a year&rdquo Yadav adds The total cost of revamping is yet to be worked outppYadav doesn&rsquot reveal details of the design but says that miniature models of Delhi&rsquos landmarks like the Qutub Minar India Gate and Lotus Temple would be depicted in the park It won&rsquot be a childrens park alone but will also attract tourists he adds &ldquoThe idea is not to attract crowds in large numbers but to train people about road safety through fun activities&rdquo Driving simulators and computer games on road safety would also be a feature hereppAs of now these parks don&rsquot attract too many visitors Once a month perhaps a school does bring its students says the constable There are also visitors who drop in out of curiosity but many aren&rsquot even aware that such a park exists he adds &ldquoWe try our best but it becomes difficult&rdquo he says Say if a group of 30 children turns up there isn&rsquot enough staff to guide themppYadav agrees that this is a problem but adds that it will be addressed in the new park &ldquoTraffic personnel will be deployed and we want to give visitors a real-time experience&rdquo There will be instructors guides and there&rsquos also a plan to show movies on road safety on a regular basis in the parkppIn the past too Delhi traffic police has made several attempts to revamp the park in order to attract more visitors It even brought out a sketchy graphic book of stories titled emRoad Safety Tales &mdash The First Stepem in collaboration with Sketch Publications This book was available at the park But it didnt help much in drawing visitors to the parkppThe day we land at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg park it is completely deserted If it lives up to its promise the revamped park could become a destination for learning traffic safety rules and regulations not only for children but also for adults With the miniature models in place it is also likely to attract touristsp

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