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Traffic cops stand tall as Delhi sizzles at 44 degrees

In Delhi, there are at least 2,500 traffic personnel out in the field at any given day and many of them are on the roads for as long as 12 hours.

delhi Updated: May 24, 2018 08:55 IST
Delhi temperature,Delhi traffic police,Delhi heatwave
There are at least 2,500 Delhi traffic personnel out in the field at any given day and many of them are on the roads for as long as 12 hours.(Raj K Raj/HT photo)

Wiping the sweat dripping down his brow and taking sips of lemonade that his wife sent for him to beat the soaring heat, 38-year-old Pradeep Singh Rajput, a traffic constable with the Delhi Police, was resolving a tussle between two drivers at west Delhi’s Dabri Mor intersection while also trying to man the traffic on the busy road on Wednesday.

In the last two days, the temperature in Delhi touched 44 degree Celsius, but that did not stop Rajput and his colleagues from being out on the road all day directing traffic and issuing challans to those violating traffic rules.

“It does get frustrating, specially because of the heat. But at the end of the day, this is my job and I like what I do,” Rajput says with a smile.

Traffic police officials across the city have been at the receiving end because of the heat wave in the national capital.

While the rest of us have the option of escaping the weather by remaining indoors, the nature of a traffic cop’s job requires them stay out on the roads for as long as 12 hours. There are at least 2,500 traffic personnel who are out in the field at any given day.

Traffic constable Mathura Prasad, who has been deputed near India Gate, said that each official in their team has been assigned turns to walk till their traffic booth every few hours to fill empty water bottles.

“There is a provision of getting cold water at the traffic booth but after a few minutes the water gets really warm in the heat outside. On certain days, when it is too hot, someone from the team offers to buy everyone ice-cream. But we all have limited salaries, how much can one indulge?”Prasad said.

He said that in VIP districts, traffic officials, at least, have the luxury of cold water dispensers and a comfortable sitting space in their booths. However, in areas such as Old Delhi and other faraway districts, traffic cops do not have such facilities.

Worse, in congested areas like Chandni Chowk traffic circle, traffic cops don’t just have to manage the unruly traffic snarls and heavy traffic, they have to sit inside makeshift porta-cabins made from tin sheets. When the temperature soars, the porta-cabin heats up like an oven.

“We prefer walking outside rather than sitting inside the office because it gets really hot and stuffy. The fan and the cooler only make it more claustrophobic,” said a traffic official who did not wish to be named.

First Published: May 24, 2018 08:52 IST