Operation Kailash Parikrama — a bid to curb vehicle thefts

While a 20-member police team patrols the streets, another 10 policemen were deployed at the barricades along with security guards hired by the RWAs.
The motorists also have the option of dialling the police assistance number 100 if they need help with the designated entry exit point or drive through the maze.(HT Photo)
The motorists also have the option of dialling the police assistance number 100 if they need help with the designated entry exit point or drive through the maze.(HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 03, 2019 05:53 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKarn Pratap Singh

Residents of south Delhi’s Greater Kailash, who were once troubled by notoriety of car jackers year after year, have been sleeping peacefully in the past three months thanks to unprecedented fortification by a local police-public partnership cordon.

In February this year, in an exercise code-named “Kailash Parikrama”, a single exit and entry point was created over an area of five square kilometre. A full-fledged police team keeps a check on every vehicle entering or leaving the protected area and the local residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and security guards help visitors navigate the security measures.

The end result : just two vehicle thefts reported in the past three months (from February 15 to May 31), compared to the 15 reported between January 1 and February 15. Last year, a total of 96 vehicle thefts were reported — a majority of them were expensive sports utility vehicles such as Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Fortuner, Innova and Hyundai Creta.

“To help motorists coming in and out, we place signage on all iron barricades that we use to close the entry exits roads connected to the 13-14 residential colonies under the jurisdiction of Greater Kailash police station. The signage instruct motorists about the directions and routes they should take to reach the lone entry and exit point at B-block near the petrol pump. This restriction and anti-vehicle theft arrangements remain in place between midnight and 6 am every day,” said Devesh Chandra Srivastava, joint commissioner of police (southern range).

While a 20-member police team patrols the streets, another 10 policemen were deployed at the barricades along with security guards hired by the RWAs. The keys of the locks used to fasten the barricades remain with the guards so that they can open the gates in case of medical or other emergencies.

The motorists also have the option of dialling the police assistance number 100 if they need help with the designated entry exit point or drive through the maze. Since all police personnel carry wireless sets, the nearest patrolling team would reach out to the caller. The policemen accompany the motorists till they reach their destination.

Asked if locals opposed the measures or complained of inconvenience, an officer from the police station said, “We did received four-five distress calls and complaints at the beginning of our arrangements. But now people are used to it and they appreciate our efforts. Initially, people even broke locks of the barricades but never took any action against them. Instead we encouraged them to cooperate with us because our efforts ultimately secured their vehicles.”

The RWAs of various residential blocks of GK have also joined hands with the local police to ensure that the night cordon and anti-vehicle theft measures do not stop in the future. The RWA members regularly hold meeting with the police and extend them supports they need from them.

Rajiv Kakria, RWA president of GK E-block said, “This innovative police arrangement has not only secured our vehicles but has also resulted in a sharp decline in house theft and robbery cases. The residents of our colony are relived and happy even though the usual drive to our homes have increased because of the new arrangement.”

Thefts of cars and motorcycles have been a major concern for the Delhi Police. Police data shows that on an average 120-130 vehicles are stolen everyday in Delhi. Last year, over 460,000 vehicles were stolen from across the city. Police said the GK experiment could be replicated in other parts of the city too.

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