While the number of private vehicles in the city keeps rising, the Traffic police themselves have woefully few vehicles to do their job
While the city’s Traffic department has seen a definite upgrade in the past year, with fresh funding from the state government, it still has some way to go before it is adequately equipped.
The Traffic police currently have just 126 two-wheelers and 19 four-wheelers (including 14 used by officers) to fulfil all of their duties that often require them to travel all over the city.
This often means that of the 1,026 constables and 29 police inspectors, several are compelled to use their own vehicles to do their job. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Vishwas Pandhare, who sent a request to the state for the procurement of more vehicles, calculated that the department needs at least an additional 500 two-wheelers and 20 four-wheelers, so that each officer can have a vehicle with them.
“It was only last year that the state government had given us funds to purchase four Innova cars for the four traffic divisions, equipped with speed guns, breath analysers, tint meters, CCTV and speed guns. This has turned out to be a boon for us. However, we need more such cars that will help us to keep tabs on traffic movement,” he said.
With the increasing number of private vehicles in the city, including 20 lakh two-wheelers and five lakh four-wheelers, Pandhare believes it is imperative that they receive more vehicles for better mobility, especially with Ganeshotsav just around the corner.
Pandhare added, “In order to have efficient traffic management, we need more vehicles, so that traffic cops can reach the spot easily.
Personal vehicles that the constables and officers are using do not have essential gadgets like sirens and speakers to help clear the road. Besides, their vehicles are not connected to the traffic server.”
On their toes
However, instead of waiting for help, the Traffic police have come up with an alternate plan to ensure that the flow of traffic is not disrupted during the festival. “We will be roping in volunteers from NGOs and colleges who will help us to maintain smooth traffic movement,” said Kavita Nerkar, assistant police commissioner (traffic administration).
Out of proportion
>> Private two-wheelers: 20 lakh
>> Private four-wheelers: 5 lakh
>> Traffic police’s two-wheelers: 126
>> Traffic police’s four-wheelers: 19