Traffic marshal scheme: 336 Ludhiana residents step in to help cops in regulating traffic
From a plumber to a mechanic to a property dealer, city residents from different walks of life have donned the attire of a traffic marshal in their quest to streamline traffic in the city.
The traffic marshal scheme was launched in the city on Republic Day, wherein as many as 336 residents have been deployed as traffic marshals at 28 road intersection points in the city. The traffic police aims to deploy as many as 2,000 of such marshals.
These marshals include persons aged between 20 to 62 years, who are devoting around three hours from their busy schedule to regulate traffic at various intersections in the city.
Mohinderpal Saini, 61, a resident of Kirpal Nagar, who is a property dealer, is managing traffic at Kirpal Nagar crossing on National Highway 44 (NH-44). Mohinderpal shared that he always wanted to do something for the betterment of the society and therefore when he was in his early 30s when he had joined the civil defence team. “Around 4-5 years ago, I had served as a traffic marshal, but then this scheme was discontinued,” he said.
A mechanic from Rahon Road, Sachin Sharma, 32, who is deployed at Samrala Chowk said that he was witnessing jams in the city and peeved by the traffic chaos the city, he wanted to help the police to regulate the traffic.
He said that the main reason behind the congestion here at the Samrala Chowk is the menace of auto-rickshaws. “The auto-rickshaw drivers park their vehicle in between the road to board passengers and they do not cooperate with us. There is a need for strict action against them,” he said.
Kavinder Bajaj, 48, a resident of New Madhopuri and a plumber, shared that despite his low income, he felt he should do something that gave him satisfaction rather than just money. “I received training in traffic management from civil defence just six months ago. I have seen city traffic halting ambulances which sometimes results into loss of life. Therefore, this intrigued me to become a traffic marshal,” he expressed.
Some other traffic marshals include Rahul Kumar Boney, 28, a manager at a private bank; Paramjit Singh, 31, housekeeping manager in a mall; Sunil Kumar, 42, an employee at hosiery factory; Madan Mohan Sharma,50, a cutter master in a factory; and Amarjit Singh Bhatti (44), a property dealer.
While the marshals do not have the power to issue challans, they assist the traffic police in managing traffic on the busy roads. With just 267 police personnel, the traffic police is grappling with staff shortage. Out of 267 personnel, 210 are deployed on roads.
Mandeep Keshav, in-charge of traffic marshals in Ludhiana, said that a number of residents who are part of various non-government organisations (NGOs) and other organisations such as civil defence, human rights commission have applied to become traffic marshals. “We have received more applications and soon others will also be deployed at different intersections after getting training,” he said.
He added that there are 28 teams with 12 persons each. One of the team members will be serving on a daily basis. “We have marshals such as Rahul Kumar, 23 and Gurvinder Singh, 28, who are serving for 12 hours daily,” he added.
Assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Gurdev Singh said that these marshals are not only managing traffic but are also becoming a role model for other residents as they are helping the police in creating awareness on the importance of following traffic rules.
As per information, 28 intersections include — Fountain Chowk, Samrala Chowk, Kirpal Nagar crossing, Jagraon Bridge, Mata Rani Chowk, Old Sabzi Mandi, Hero Bakery Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Mini Secretariat Crossing, Dugri Canal Bridge, Ghumar Mandi Chowk, Bhai Bala Chowk, Saggu Chowk, Sherpur Chowk, Dandi Swami Chowk and others.