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Men in Blue to save tourists from blues

DON?T BE surprised if you find Men in Blue taking tourists on a guarded tour of the city?s historical spots! The UP Tourism Department is planning to introduce ?tourist cops? by next month to make tourists? Lucknow visit harassment-proof!

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 01:21 IST

DON’T BE surprised if you find Men in Blue taking tourists on a guarded tour of the city’s historical spots!

The UP Tourism Department is planning to introduce ‘tourist cops’ by next month to make tourists’ Lucknow visit harassment-proof!

In fact, the tourism bosses got the idea after they came across many complaints of tourists’ harassment at the hand of touts, eve-teasers, molestation, cheats, pickpockets, thugs and local charm chasers!

But hold on! Tourist cops’ won’t come from the local police. They will be a separate group trained as guides and escorts.  They will provide domestic and foreign tourists appropriate information about transportation, lodging, local customs and dos’ and don’t for their safe siteseeing and journey back home.

That meansfrom airport, railway station and bus stands to historical spots, the ‘cops’ will help tourists with exact info on city demography to keep the safe from hassling charm chasers.

“They will ensure that tourists remain safe and in case of any incident it would be their responsibility to inform the local police,” informed principal secretary (Tourism) Om Prakash.

He said they would also help tourists that latter didn’t get a bad bargain at local shops. They would actually work as friend philosopher and guide for tourists and help them in solving their problems as also facilitating them during stay in the city.

These people would be trained to be completely people friendly and would be dressed in light blue colour uniform and not the traditional khaki one. At present, the department has deputed retired Army and police personnel as tourist police only at the tourist places of Agra and Varanasi in small numbers. There are so many other important places in UP, including Buddhist circuit where domestic and international tourists visit in large numbers and face problems after falling in the trap of touts.

With the appointment of tourist cops, the UP Tourism is anticipating a better image by ensuring tourists a safer to Uttar Pradesh, said Om Prakash.