Late night traffic rule violators got a free run, as the Delhi traffic police officers hit their beds a bit early on Sunday night.
To ensure its ground staff woke up fresh on Monday for US President Barack Obama's early morning plans across the capital, the traffic police cancelled its daily late-night drive against assorted traffic violations on the US President's first evening in Delhi.
“We enforce a drive against a particular traffic offence throughout the city everyday. On weekends, it is usually against drunk driving,” said a senior Delhi traffic police officer. “But with almost our entire staff deployed for either route security or for traffic diversion since morning, we decided to give most of the ground staff a rest on Sunday night.”
The Delhi traffic police deployed more than 3,500 of its officers throughout the city for President Obama’s two-day stay.
"Usually, teams are deployed at random spots in each of the eight traffic districts to check the vehicles and drivers for offences ranging from drunken driving to driving without a licence. It is supposed to be instructive and aims at disciplining commuters rather than just slapping them with fines,” the officer said.
But, instead of deploying a team of 15 officers ranging from constables to assistant sub-inspectors and headed by a traffic inspector in each traffic district, the traffic police decided to let only its quick reaction teams (QRT) do the job on Sunday night.
"The QRTs have been put in place of the usual teams, as most of the ground staff had been on the field for more than half of Sunday and is supposed to report for duty very early tomorrow (Monday). This is not the first time that the drive has been cancelled; one has to prioritise," said the officer.
However, special commissioner of police (traffic) Ajay Chadha denied such was the case. “We have a sufficient number of officers for both VIP security as well late night enforcement against traffic violations,” he said.