Right at the end of 2014, the Amritsar police commissionerate is all set to launch a ‘tourism police’ service with an aim to make tourists flocking to the city from across the country and the globe in big numbers safe and secure.
Interestingly, apart from the general training, the picked up cops for this squad have undergone a five-day capsule course on soft skills just to ensure that they are warm towards tourists and have impressive communication skills.
This will be third initiative by the Amritsar police in the past 10 years, as earlier too the tourism police had been formed twice, but went defunct after a while.
This time Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Aulakh has pulled up his socks to float a tourism police in a week’s time with a long-term prospective.
With over one lakh tourists flocking to the Holy City everyday, the effort by the police commissioner can go a long way, if enforced and carried out sincerely, in ensuring a flourishing tourism industry here. Since tourists are a soft target of miscreants, the tourism police can do much to make them safe and feel secure.
With the city police launching the tourism police service project by the end of December, as many as 56 cops, including women constables, have been shortlisted for it, said additional deputy commissioner (ADCP-Traffic) Dhruman Nimbale, who is supervising the project.
In addition, eight special cabins will be installed in localities such as Golden Temple, railway station, airport, Bhandari Bridge, Durgiana Mandir, Ranjit Avenue and bus stand.
Of the eight cabins of the tourism police, some will be operation round the clock, while others for around 16 hours a day.
With the help of tourism department, police have prepared information brochures for the help of tourists during their stay here. Moreover, tourists approaching a tourism police counter will be provided with key information about the city such as important spots to visit and safety measures while hiring a cab or an auto-rickshaw.
Under the project, the city police are also trying to get bikes for patrolling between Hall Gate and Golden Temple for the help of tourists strolling on the road.
Above all, there has been made a provision under which the tourism police will seek feedback from the tourists regarding their services, and if they have any problem or issue regarding their safety, it will be looked into earnestly without any delay by this new squad. The tourism cops will wear a special wrap around their uniform on which ‘Tourism Police’ will be inscribed.
Enthusiastic about the project, Aulakh said, “The city has a great tourism potential and the idea behind launching this squad is to ensure a helping hand to tourists at all important locations.”
“We want to ensure that the cops on duty have best of communication skills, and thus, we have selected them after an interview and have asked them to undergo a special capsule course on communication skills and personality development, which they need while on the duty,” Aulakh added.
“Once the project kicks off, we will widen its scope and reach by adding more services that will help the tourists,” said Aulakh.
When asked to comment on snatching incidents faced by tourists, Aulakh said, “We have heightened vigil and efforts are on to check such incidents. The tourism police will also pass tips to the tourists on being alert and cautioned while enjoying their trip.”
Much more needed
Although the city police have come up with the project to assist tourists by forming a tourism squad, the Punjab government is yet to do anything in this direction.
· Lack of prepaid taxis at key locations
· Lacks tourist guides
· Poor cleanliness and infrastructure for tourism
· Active policing needed to check incidents like snatching
· Need to identify regularised taxis and auto-rickshaws
· Tourist buses
· The Attari border lacks infrastructure
· CCTV cameras at key places, especially at the Golden Temple