Hundreds of eager spectators across the Capital stood amazed as Delhi Traffic Police on Friday showed its presence not just on the roads but also in the sky. A sturdy, fully equipped version of Pawan Hans helicopter hovered around the city as the department for the very first time resorted to aerial monitoring to ensure smooth movement of traffic for Durga idol immersion this time.
Special commissioner of police (traffic), Muktesh Chander, who headed the day-long operation, said this was not just a first for the Delhi Police but never before has any police force conducted an aerial monitoring to manage religious processions or traffic anywhere in the country. The twin engine helicopter was hired especially for the purpose.
“Durga idol immersion is a day when roads throughout the Capital remain clogged because of thousands of devotees on the road. However, this year since we could get a bird’s eye view of the entire city we were able to manage traffic better and thankfully there was negligible traffic snarls,” Chander said.
The low-flying chopper named in the wireless as Ferry-one, drew several spectators on the roads.
“I have never seen a helicopter in my life that too from this close. I have been following immersion processions for years now and it is a nightmare to reach the ghats and to get out is an even bigger task. But this time the arrangements were very good,” said Surender Sharma, a participant who had come from Indirapuram.
The police said that one traffic police official was accompanying the pilot and was informing officials on the roads of the traffic jams on the wireless. Aerial videography of the entire event was also done.
Processions from Kudsia Ghat, Geeta Ghat, Shyam Ghat, Kalindi Kunj, Chhath Puja Ghat and Chilla Ghat were covered by the helicopter.
“Our helicopter could spot the processions from far away and they alerted the officers beforehand,” Chander said.