A team of three ‘traffic taus (uncles) and sardars’, policemen dressed in white dhoti, blue jacket, red turban and carrying a lathi (cane), remained the star attractions on the second car-free day here on Tuesday.
The mascots of the district police delivered messages on road safety in Haryanvi and Punjabi languages. They pedaled around the city on bicycles along with superintendent of police Pankaj Nain and other activists of Karnal to promote reduction in usage of motorised vehicles.
The local police has emulated the idea of ‘traffic tau’ and a ‘traffic sardar’ from the Gurgaon police.
Inspector general of police Hanif Qureshi, who drew flak last week for riding his official vehicle in the car-free zone, on Tuesday used a bicycle to office.
Deputy commissioner J Ganesan used an e-rickshaw, introduced by him in the city, for going to his office at the mini secretariat.
However, the district authorities, which had called the car-free idea a success, had to alter the concept. On Tuesday, two wheelers and certain types of four wheelers carrying petrol, ice cream, bakery etc were allowed in ‘public interest’.
A few residents living in the old locality of Karnal had asked the district administration to issue special passes to those living in the car-free zone.
“Last week a section of shopkeepers demand relaxation to the free movement for two-wheelers and heavy vehicles for their businesses. Though certain vehicles were allowed to ply in the zone, we have planned to declare the busiest commercial area near Committee Chowk, vegetable market, Kunjpura and bus stand roads, as no-vehicle zone. We have to ensure that business in the proposed region and movement of shoppers is not hampered,” Nain told HT.
‘Informal and humorous’
He said that tau and sardar were proving effective in sensitising residents about traffic rules and women safety.
“The amiable yet authoritative character of ‘traffic taus’ is instantly connecting with people of the upcoming smart city of Karnal,” Nain said.
The SP said dressed as traffic taus, the officials of the district traffic police will now stand at various intersections, traffic signals and public hangouts to spread the messages on road safety.
“An assistant sub inspector, who was posted with Faridabad police and had worked effectively as traffic tau in Gurgaon, has trained two Karnal policemen. For the last one week, they visited several schools and people on road and apprise them about road safety in informal and humourous way.
“Taus narrated their experience as policemen about how several people lost their lives for being negligent by not wearing helmets, jumping traffic signals, triple riding on motorbikes, drunken driving etc,” he said.