The room from where the Twitter team of the Mumbai police operates has become a virtual control room since September 5 (the start of Ganeshotsav). Reason: incessant queries and complaints related to the festival on their Twitter handle, @MumbaiPolice.
The Twitter handle, which was created last December, has got 27,000 new followers since September 5. “People find it convenient to ask queries and complain on Twitter, instead of approaching the main control room,” said a team member.
Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police, law and order, said, “The response has been overwhelming. It has worked as a force multiplier. We want people to continue to be our eyes and ears. All their queries are being answered and complaints are being forwarded to the departments concerned.”
Ahead of the festival, additional manpower has been added to the Twitter team. About 175 complaints were received from the start of the festival till Monday afternoon. The team said they could not maintain a record of queries as they are innumerable.
Most complaints have been pertaining to noise pollution, followed by queries on days when playing music on loudspeakers is permissible after 10pm. “We told them the deadline is extended till 12am only on immersion days,” said Ashwini Koli, assistant police inspector, who heads the Twitter team.
Some of the complaints were related to pandals blocking traffic on the roads. Several queries were related to the traffic routes to be used. The Twitter team also uploaded a map on traffic diversions at major immersion points such as Girgaum and Shivaji Park on immersion days.