Cops save the day, prevent a repeat of 2016 ‘Gurujam’
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Cops save the day, prevent a repeat of 2016 ‘Gurujam’

gurgaon Updated: Aug 29, 2018 04:19 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Gurujam,Cops

Although the rainfall recorded was higher than the 2016 Gurujam, the 2,500-odd police personnel on the roads ensured that the traffic kept moving in the city on Tuesday. (Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

The city could have come to a complete standstill on Tuesday, like two years ago when a spell of overnight rain had triggered a 20-hour traffic jam, if not for the police, who say they knew better this time.

Although the rainfall recorded was higher than the 2016 Gurujam, the 2,500-odd police personnel on the roads ensured that the traffic kept moving in the city on Tuesday.

Police commissioner K K Rao said the police personnel took to the roads around 6am, anticipating waterlogging and traffic congestion. They did not just manage traffic and plan diversions, but also drained out rainwater by opening sewers and clearing uprooted trees and poles in areas such as Sector 45, Sohna Road, Huda City Centre Metro station, Palam Vihar, Bajghera crossing and Golf Course Road. Police said that several of their personnel sustained injuries in the process.

Rao said police officers from 40 police stations, including crime units and traffic police, were pressed into action early. Only four personnel each were deployed in each police station in the morning hours and the rest were in the field.

“Ultimately, it is our job to make way for motorists. So, we did not wait for rescue operations to be carried out by other departments. Our teams were also pumping out water from all possible locations,” Rao said.

On July 28, 2016, slack response from authorities led to a massive traffic jam, due to which commuters had to leave vehicles on the road and walk to their residences. Neither the police nor the National Highways Authority of India officials checked the situation. It was only the next morning, on July 29, that the police started clearing the road.

Residents took to social media to appreciate the efforts of the police this time. Transport expert Sarika Panda Bhatt posted on Twitter, “Because of someone’s else mistake and unplanned development of the city, the police and citizens suffering. Are we paying tax for this?”

Another resident, Kumar Manish, tweeted, “Dedicated to duty 100%, Gurugram police managing traffic during heavy rains.”

Sanjeev Kumar, sub-inspector from Sector 40 police station, lost his calm when approached and said that the job of MCG officials is being carried out by them. “We were well prepared this time, but the MCG officials still need to gear up. The entire burden has fallen on us,” Kumar said.

Rao said, “We tried to decongest the roads before the situation could escalate, but the sewerage lines were choked and the drains were not cleaned well. Else, this situation would not have arisen. We had alerted the team as soon as it had started raining to equip themselves to tackle the crisis.”

“Residents were panicking as cars were breaking down on roads, due to which traffic came to a standstill. We had to push the cars as cranes were not available and water level was rising,” Manvender Singh, assistant sub-inspector, traffic police department, said.

The police were deployed on roads from 6am to 3pm. They were served food and tea on the spot. The officials will be honoured with a commendation certificate and a cash reward of Rs 1,000 each.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 04:19 IST