Sitting in your air-conditioned sedan, have you ever spared a thought for the traffic cop managing vehicle rush outside on the burning charcoal in the cruel Delhi summer?
The Delhi traffic police have now made arrangements for cold drinking water at every traffic police booth in the city so that personnel deployed there do not fall sick due to dehydration. Apart from the basic need of drinking water, there are no toilets where these officers can relieve themselves.
Every day over 5,000 traffic police men and women manage the rush on Delhi roads. Though they have an eight-hour shift per day, many of them work extra hours due to shortage of staff. “We are deprived of basic amenities such as drinking water, toilet facilities and changing rooms during our work hours,” said a traffic policeman.All traffic police booths in the city will now be equipped with drinking water jars, which can store up to 10 litres of cold water.
“We have issued an order a week ago to make arrangement of water mandatory at 81 spots, including 70-odd traffic police booths. A traffic inspector has been assigned to fill the jars from nearby police station in each of the booths,” said Taj Hassan, special commissioner of police (traffic).
Besides, all booths are being equipped with changing room facilities, he said.
According to a traffic police officer, this is a temporary arrangement till the traffic police’s plan to convert the existing dilapidated traffic police booths into state-of-the-art facilities materialises. Delhi police have already identified 60 locations for the new arrangement.
But a major hurdle in the plan is the paucity of funds. Delhi Police were looking to bring funds through a public private partnership project (PPP), but the model had been banned by the Delhi High Court. A writ petition filed five years ago had prompted the court to ban private advertising for police. Entering into a PPP model would entail advertisements by the private concessionaire.
“We are planning to move court for getting the ban removed,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
“We have recently conducted a survey on the requirements of our men deployed on roads. We plan to arrange facilities such as drinking water, toilets, changing rooms for women,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
Shukla also said that plans are afoot to procure anti-pollution masks for traffic police.