Amritsar, January 24
A population of over 15 lakh, manifold increase in the number of vehicles, swelling number of tourists and just 220 cops to handle vehicular traffic! This is the current scenario in the holy city.
The traffic police is not only struggling with a shortage of staff, but is also ill-equipped to handle traffic chaos that has become the order of the day in different parts of the city. The situation gets aggravated during school timings when students leave the schools.
If the officials are to be believed, they have a requirement of around 400 cops to deal with traffic jams on various roads but currently they just have half the strength required.
“We feel helpless with the current staff strength. The people are non-cooperative when it comes to following traffic norms in letter and spirit. We also don’t have enough equipment for handling traffic chaos,” said a police official who preferred anonymity.
At present, we have just two tow-away vans, that too borrowed from the Municipal Corporation, while we need at least 10 such vans to remove wrongly parked vehicles, he said adding that they have a limited number of wheel clamps for wrongly parked cars. Also, the traffic police have just 10 body cameras for the traffic cops which are yet to be made available to them, he added.
Another police official said there were no proper signboards for no-parking zones and areas in the city. Further, traffic signals at various chowks were not properly working and the department has written to the civic authorities a number of times to get them repaired, but there was no significant response.
Recently, Punjab Police announced to start e-challan system under the smart city project for nailing traffic offenders, but it remains a distant dream. Under the smart city project, the work of installing sophisticated CCTV cameras were yet to be installed at several points. Sensors were also yet to be synchronised with these cameras.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amandeep Kaur said the department has written to the police commissioner for reinforcement of force.
“We have demanded around 90 more cops for streamlining traffic in the city. We have also taken up the issue of tow-way vans and other equipment with the senior authorities,” the ADCP (Traffic) said. She, however, expressed her displeasure over the attitude of those who disregard traffic norms.
“First give us roads for regulating traffic. The roads have been encroached upon by shopkeepers, vendors and haphazard parking. If every department concerned does its work properly, we won’t have such mess on roads. People should also cooperate in streamlining the traffic by following rules,” she pointed out.
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