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Baahubali effect: Mumbai police use film’s popularity to promote traffic campaign

The Mumbai police has come up with a unique strategy to publicise its traffic awareness campaign.

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2017 20:46 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai police,Baahubali,twitter
The Mumbai police said they were piggybacking on the film’s popularity to spread awareness about traffic rules.(HT Photo)

If you know by now ‘Why Katappa killed Bahubali’, then Mumbai police has another question for you – ‘Why don’t people follow traffic rules?’ If you have an answer, the force wants you to tweet it to @MumbaiPolice with #BahubaliOfTrafficDiscipline.

On a day when the magnum opus Baahubali 2: The Conclusion released to much fanfare, the Mumbai police came up with a unique strategy to publicise its own traffic awareness campaign, with an innovative tweet.

The tweet – which had a photo with a still from the movie and text that said ‘Mumbai, we have 2 questions for you’, followed by the two questions – read ‘And the second, can be answered only by you! #BahubaliOfTrafficDiscipline’.

Mumbai police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe said they were piggybacking on the film’s popularity to spread awareness about traffic rules. “We are going by the trend.”

“We will also welcome suggestions on ways to curb violations in order to improve traffic management in the city,” said Deven Bharati, joint commissioner of police, law and order. “An interactive social media platform [Twitter] is one such medium to enlist public opinion.”

Bharati’s claims are not without reasons.

With over 2.61 million followers, @MumbaiPolice is one of the most followed police forces in the country on Twitter. In a couple of hours after the tweet was sent out, it had 588 retweets and more than 1,000 likes, apart from 140 replies.

With more than 35 lakh vehicles and 2,000km of motorable roads, Mumbai has the highest density of vehicles per kilometre in the country. Traffic police sources said despite the several drives conducted to spread traffic awareness, every day more than 6,000 motorists are penalised for various traffic offences – from lane cutting to jumping signals to driving without seat belt or riding without helmets. This is apart from the 2,000 e-chalans that are issued by the CCTV control room every day for similar offences. “Although motorists in Mumbai are the best in the country when it comes to adherence of traffic rules, they still need to learn road manners,” a senior traffic police officer said.

With the Baahubali riddle now been solved, only time will tell, if the Mumbai police can solve the traffic problems of the city with citizens’ feedback.

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First Published: Apr 29, 2017 09:20 IST