No check on drunken driving in Chandigarh’s VIP sectors, reveals RTI
The RTI reveals that not a single naka set up in northern sectors of Chandigarh housing prominent clubs, govt guest houses in first eight months of this year.punjab Updated: Oct 20, 2017 19:50 IST
All of us have our favourite sectors in Chandigarh and the traffic cops are no different. They have this soft spot for Sectors 1 to 6.
Only that can explain why they never set up any drink-driving checkpoints in these sectors, home to the Chandigarh Club, Lake Club, Golf Club and Chandigarh Golf Association besides the guest houses of the two state governments of Punjab and Haryana and the MLA hostel, in the first eight months of this year.
Chandigarh-based RK Garg stumbled upon this nugget when he invoked the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get information about the drink-driving challans from January to August this year. The cops were gentle on the Sukhna Lake as well, setting up just two nakas, both of which proved fruitful with 16 challans for driving under the influence of liquor on August 18, and 11 on the last day of that month.
The cops were also content with laying just one naka each on the Sector 7/19 dividing road (Sec 7 side) despite the profusion of restaurants and bars in Sector 7. The only time they set up a naka on the Sector 8/18 dividing road (Sector 8 side) and the Sector 9/10 dividing road (Sector 9 side) was on Holi, and that day too they drew a blank.
This, we assume, may have deterred them from setting up any further such nakas on this section close to the so-called VIP sectors.
The three stretches that received a lot of attention from the traffic police included their own backyard, the road behind the Police Lines, Sector 26, where they laid 32 nakas in eight months with 203 challans.
The maximum number of 35 nakas were put up on the road dividing Sectors 20 and 33 (on the Sector 20 side) where the cops took 230 ‘spirited’ drivers to task.
The 33 nakas on the Sector 16/17 dividing road (Sec 17 side) were also quite successful, yielding 272 challans. “That is along the expected lines, given the popularity of ahatas and bars in the city centre,” Garg reasons.
If the position of the nakas is an indication of the consumption of liquor in areas around it, their timings reflect the happy hours in the City Beautiful. If the numbers are to be believed, the Chandigarhians down their drinks early. The nakas set between 8pm and 10 pm yielded 1,169 challans, the maximum in a time slot. The 9 pm-11pm nakas were not half as worthwhile with a mere 612 challans.
Interestingly, the maximum of 116 challans on a single day were recorded not on Holi, the festival dedicated to colours and Bacchus, but on the last day of August , making sceptics wonder if it had anything to do with challan targets.
Holi turned out to be quite eventful with 89 challans during the day between 8 am and 4 am, the only daytime challaning drive during the first eight months of this year in the city.
THE BOOZE ROAD?
The stretch where the traffic cops got the maximum success was the road dividing Sectors 23 and 36 (Sector 36 side). The cops challaned 298 persons for drink-driving on this road from January to August. Garg is puzzled by the high number, considering the location. “It’s not an area where there are many pubs though it is dotted with educational institutions. I wonder who are the people drinking and driving on this road?”