Finally, tourism policing re-launched in AmritsarUpdated: Oct 31, 2019, 23:32 IST
After hanging fire for five years, the tourism police wing, trained to assist international and domestic tourists in the holy city, was finally re-launched on Thursday.
An inspector rank in-charge and 20 personnel took up charge of the Heritage Street and surrounding areas to assist and guide tourists who throng the Golden Temple in droves every day.
The project was inaugurated at the tourist facilitation centre near the Golden Temple by commissioner of police Amritsar, Dr Sukhchain Singh. On the occasion, the commissioner said this project will subsequently be expanded in the days to come at other venues such as the railway station, Gobindgarh Fort and Attari-Wagah border, among others. About 70 personnel have been trained for this task.
The aim was to put in place a dedicated team of police officials who will work towards better safety of tourists, providing them information to facilitate their visits, act as a bridge between district police/administration and tourists, as well as assist in creating a tourist-friendly environment.
The officials deployed at the tourist facilitation centre near Golden Temple will work in 3 shifts of 8 hours each, to provide round the clock assistance to tourists.
Amritsar police had earlier too, attempted to set up the tourism police wing in 2002-2003 and again in 2008-2009, without proper procedure and suitable staff for the job, the plans fell flat. The revival of tourism police wing, which also aims at curbing crime against tourists, was announced in 2014. Amritsar police commissionerate had even trained a detachment of cops for communicating in English and Hindi to benefit both domestic and international tourists, but the service was not launched.
Again in November 2016, city police got an approval from then Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for deploying 120 special tourist police (STP) personnel. They had also decided to dedicate a police station to tourists and set up information centres.
In January 2017, the code of conduct for assembly polls was imposed in Amritsar, and due to elections the project launch was postponed. Last year, the police had again planned to launch the service on Independence Day, but the move was not implemented.