Delhi traffic cops stressed: Docs say they watch danger up close, are bound to worry

15-20% of officers who attended the camp tested positive for hypertension and diabetes, doctors said.

delhi Updated: Dec 05, 2017 12:41 IST
Shubhomoy Sikdar
Shubhomoy Sikdar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,delhi traffic,traffic police
Traffic police personnel undergo a medical check-up at the Traffic Police Headquarters in Todarpur, New Delhi, on Monday.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Most traffic policemen who attended the health camp on Monday complained of work-related stress, which they said was not just from the long working hours, but also because they constantly feared for their safety while performing duties.

At least 15-20% of officers who attended the camp tested positive for hypertension and diabetes, doctors said. Doctors at the camp added that among those who complained of stress, some even disclosed they consumed alcohol and smoked cigarettes as remedial measures to deal with the stress ignoring the long-term impact on their health.

Dr Sunny Kalra from BLK Super Speciality Hospital, who conducted these health check-ups, said most of the policemen said hazardous work conditions and long hours were taking a toll on their physical and mental health.

“One of them told me that he saw a car running over a colleague’s feet and it took a while for the wounded person to recover. For someone who has seen hazardous situations from such close proximity, they are bound to worry about it later. We can recommend breathing exercises, but do they have time to follow these instructions considering all of them work around 10 to 12, and sometimes 14 hours? Their seniors would also have to ensure that their working hours are reduced and they get adequate rest and entertainment,” Dr Kalra said.

A cross-section of policemen HT spoke to at the camp said fear for their safety caused the majority of their stress. They added that the demanding schedule and Delhi’s pollution in the recent weeks has also played a major role in aggravating the situation.

All officers chose to not be quoted fearing disciplinary action, but said they expressed these concerns before the doctors too.

“On the highways, the trucks are a menace. They drive at high speeds during the night making it extremely difficult for us to even stop or flag one down because the driver can run us over and move on,” said a head constable from Outer Delhi. In his case, he said, the working hours were from 8am to 10pm, and sometimes longer.

“The only thing I cannot complain about is travelling time as I live close to the area I am supposed to man,” said the head constable.

Last week in Narela, a 45-year-old traffic police constable Yashbir Kumar was run over by a speeding truck he was trying to stop from entering a no-entry zone.

The ongoing wedding season is particularly harsh for them because of the increased vehicular movement in most stretches.

A constable who had come from south Delhi said that even asking a commuter to slow down or produce vehicle documents may lead to an argument. Sometimes the passengers even threaten or hit the traffic police personnel, the constable said.

Asked if those with acute health problems would be considered to be posted out of traffic unit, Pathak said he did not rule out such a possibility if the case was exceptional.

“We will wait for the final list to come and if someone’s case is such that he or she is physically unable to continue, we will certainly consider a transfer,” said Pathak.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 00:01 IST