New police chief says he'll ensure riders use helmets

He said that he would like to first make the rule compulsory for the police, since they would then be in a better position to question the common man for violating the rule.

In the saddle: Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol in his office after taking over from Meeran Borwankar yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Pol took charge as CP from Meeran Borwankar yesterday afternoon at the commissionerate and is the 30th police commissioner of the city. “Wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler is compulsory by law and I will try to enforce it in the city despite great objection from residents,” Pol said, when questioned about the helmet rule during his press meet.

After making his point clear about the compulsory helmet rule, he asked Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic), Vishawas Pandhare, about the current status of helmet compulsion. Pandhare said that currently anyone caught jumping signals, using a phone while driving or lane cutting, and if he or she is not wearing helmet, then an additional fine is slapped on the offender.

“But before making it compulsory, I would like to make it compulsory for the cops since they would be in a better position to question the common man if they themselves are following the rule,” Pol said. Borwankar had once implemented the compulsory helmet rule for the police, but after some time, the men in uniform gave up wearing helmets while driving and the initiative was discontinued.

Speaking about traffic conditions, Pol said there is urgent need to tackle the situation as the city’s population is increasing at an alarming rate. On the increasing crime in the city, Pol said, “My aim is to make the city a peaceful place and if anti-social elements try to play games, they will be wiped out from the city.”

He said the chain-snatching phenomenon is common everywhere and is a big challenge for the police to tackle. “I will speak to the in-charge of all police stations and ask for increased foot patrolling in their respective jurisdictions,” Pol said. Pol said that as the city has been on the radar of terrorist organisations, the city police will be equipped with the latest gadgets and equipment to tackle the threat.

Before taking charge as CP, Pol was Special Inspector General (Law and Order) in Mumbai and served as Deputy Commissioner of Police in Pune between 1985 and 1988. He also served as SP of Pune rural police. “I have a special bond and emotional attachment with the city as I have studied in the Agriculture College in the city and feel proud that I have got the opportunity to serve the city as the commissioner of police,” Pol said.  

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