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Mumbai police on rain bandobast

Chalk one up for the Mumbai police. With the season’s first rain dampening the unnecessarily hyped monsoon preparedness of various civic and state agencies, the understaffed and overworked force has decided to chip in to shelter citizens from the many annoyances of the city’s unremitting rains.

Mumbai police

The force has drawn up an inventory of the operations it will undertake during monsoon. It has delegated almost 30 per cent of its 50,000-strong manpower to supervise tasks like evacuation, patrolling, redirecting traffic, hygiene, briefing seniors, and coordination with various authorities and emergency services - all without a taking a break.

Mumbai police
Right from monitoring situations arising out of heavy downpours, police have been asked to be in constant touch with FM radio stations and media for updates and announcements

It’s not just an army of traffic cops that has been deployed to abate the torrential woes. Some 14,000 officials attached to various police stations - including DCPs, ACPs, inspectors, constables - and even the Crime Branch have been roped in to battle any eventuality in the impending months.

Wonderful as it sounds, one has to wonder if the bulk of the police force should really be labouring away at rain relief rather than cracking down on crime. Mumbai police have, of late, been facing a number of questions over the dipping rate of crime detection.

Double the control
Getting back to the task at hand, to begin with, the police will have two principal control rooms the main control room at the police HQ in CST and an auxiliary one at the BKC police station. Each will have two senior officers and 50 policemen.

One of the cops’ major jobs will be to report on rains every two hours to the commissioner and the additional commissioner (law and order) until the calendar reads September 1. Incidentally, the men in khaki have been told to avoid going on leave during the coming two months, unless absolutely essential.

Right from monitoring situations arising out of heavy downpours, police have been asked to be in constant touch with FM radio stations and media for updates and announcements. At least 25 police constables have been asked to be ready at each of the control rooms attached with south, central, east, west and north regions.

All police stations and the additional police commissioners of five regions have been asked to conduct dry runs as part of the preparedness. The deputy and assistant commissioners have been directed to undertake visits to affected areas and monitor operations being carried out by the policemen there. DCP SN Chaudhary, spokesperson for Mumbai police, said, “Let me confirm what the expectations are from us. During crises like floods, our men help the public anyway.”

Rain check
What police will do to manage the afflictions of rains:
Deploy bandobast at waterlogged places and open alternate routes for traffic
Ensure manholes are open so rainwater recedes fast
Evacuate people to safer spots in case a locality is flooded
Inform power companies, coordinate between fire brigade, hospitals and BMC
Ask civic health department for sanitation, fumigation to prevent rain-related ailments
Patrol vulnerable areas round the clock to be done by officers and constables
Remove hawkers at railway stations where people are stranded in large numbers
Make available barricades, life jackets, emergency lights, torches, ropes, boats, first aid boxes, ladders etc to face untoward situations
Ask BEST to ply more buses and ask public carriers and goods vehicles to ferry people in the event of disruption of local services
Additionally, all police stations have been asked not to grant leave unless essential to policemen during monsoon.

Some of their duties
Ensure manholes are open so rainwater recedes fast
Evacuate people to safer spots in case a locality is flooded
Remove hawkers at railway stations where people are stranded in large numbers
Make available barricades, life jackets, torches, ropes, boats, first aid boxes, ladders etc 

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