Even as police Commissioner Jatinder Aulakh had promised that a tourism police wing would be launched in the holy city by the end of 2014, it remained a distant dream even after more than two months.
Many specially-designed small police booths bearing sign of ‘Tourism Police’ and ‘Tourist Information Centre’ with a helpline number ‘1073’ has come up at several places in the city, though these remained unmanned.
With thousands of pilgrims and tourists flocking to the holy city everyday, the police administration felt the need of a tourism police to guide and guard the visitors in order to make their stay pleasant and memorable — as incidents of snatching, tourists being fleeced, robbed and attacked are common to the city.
However, it was not the first time that the Amritsar police thought of setting of the tourism wing; earlier too, it had been set up twice but due the lack of administrative will it became defunct after sometime.
Even this time around the cops went ahead with tremendous planning and zeal to succeed in their effort which, however, remained on the paper only.
As per the proposed project, a total 56 policemen, including women constables, were shortlisted for the tourism police.
A plan was mooted to place eight specially-designed cabins at locations such as near Golden Temple, railway station, airport, Bhandari Bridge, Durgiana Mandir, Ranjit Avenue and bus stand.
Apart from these, with the help of the tourism department, police had procured some brochures to assist the tourists.
The city police had also claimed that it was trying to get ceremonial bikes that would shuttle between Hall Gate and the Golden Temple for the safety and help of the tourists.
Above all, with an aim to ensure that cops on duty behave in proper manner and communicate clearly with the tourists, after an interview some of the cops were asked to undertake a crash course on communication skills and personality development.
Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said, “The project has been delayed due to some reasons, but not dumped. A lot of spade works need to be done for the project and we hope to launch the tourism police very soon.”