Over a year since Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) launched an initiative, titled Traffic Warden, to channelise traffic movement outside educational institutes and assist students in crossing the roads during peak hours, the campaign is yet to find success. MTP officials, who have been conducting surprise checks across city schools since yesterday are appalled at the little to no response from schools. The surprise checks continued this morning.
According to MTP officials, they had distributed multiple neon green jackets to all schools and colleges for use by traffic wardens, who are expected to be stationed at all exits of the educational institutions. However, the surprise checks revealed not many schools are adhering to the mandate. “On Wednesday, we conducted a surprise check across 18 schools in Khar, Bandra, Mahim and Dadar to check if enough number of wardens had been assigned at all the gates. But while some schools had wardens at one of the gates, others had none. Also, not many of them were seen wearing the jackets assigned to them,” Vijayalaxmi Hiremath, a senior police inspector from the Traffic department, who visited all the schools.
In January 2016, the Traffic Department had asked schools to volunteer to the campaign. “There are regular snarls when schools start and get over. Students face trouble crossing roads at that time. But it was disappointing to find only few schools are participating in the campaign. We have decided to conduct a workshop to make institutes aware of the need for the campaign. We will help them assist students,” Hiremath added.
Speaking with midday, a principal whose school had been checked yesterday said, “We do assign wardens, but not many of them are willing to support the traffic cops when the school gets over.”
Vandana Lulla, principal of Podar International School, said, “Our school has security chief who has trained all the guards, faculty members and students about road safety. We support the MTP initiative, but many schools and colleges in the city don’t. Those institutes must realise it’s meant for the welfare of the students.”