Flooded with complaints of traffic cops harassing motorists, Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik invited all the cops, including constables, responsible to ensure smooth flow of traffic across the city yesterday to 'put the house in order'.
In a departure from the tradition of meeting senior inspectors of all police stations and officers above their rank every month at crime conference, Patnaik invited constables and the like to the meeting, giving them an opportunity to express themselves.
Apparently traffic constables, who were often ignored for such talks, were overwhelmed by the top cop's move that allowed them to voice their concern.
City Police Chief Arup Patnaik
A constable said, "As per the new policy, the limit for posting in traffic department is six years. So newly recruit batch know that they will be shunted out of traffic department after six years. This insecurity factor can prompt cops to resort to corrupt practices."
Echoing his sentiments, a head constable from traffic department said, "As we have noticed the young brigade on street duty is under immense pressure from their senior inspectors to meet the daily 'target' and this is the reason behind the rising corruption.
As per the new policy, constables who have been serving for more than 15 years in police department will not be posted for traffic controlling. But the seniors are needed for two reasons -- they are experienced in traffic management and will never harass motorists like new recruits in a desperation to meet daily targets."
He added that the constables are asked to collect a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending on the location.
When contacted Deputy Commissioner (operations) Manohar Dalvi refused to comment on the of issue daily 'target' given to constables.