Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, April 23:
To facilitate better traffic management and tide over acute staff shortage to man all important squares in Odisha’s capital city, the commissionerate police today launched a novel drive to rope in volunteers to regulate traffic through the initiative ‘Induction Program of Traffic Volunteers’.
Twin city Commissioner of Police (CP) Dr R P Sharma welcomed the 60 volunteers, who have joined the aforesaid initiative to get trained on traffic regulations in the first phase.
He thanked Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) Territorial Manager H V Gerrish and activists Namrata Chadha and Linkan Subudhi for their support towards this initiative and urged more stakeholders to join hands to make it a grand success in the city.
“Sixty volunteers from city colleges, NGOs, Transgender associations have joined the program in its first phase and efforts are on to increase its number to 100,” said the Commissioner, adding theoretical and practical training will be given to these volunteers on traffic rules/laws (MV/OUP Acts), Safety of road users and self, road disciplines, safe driving and parking etc, traffic regulation at road crossing, behaviour towards public, practical demonstrations at AG square and first-aid. The training will of one month duration and a merit certificate will be issued to the trainees after its completion,” the Commissioner said.
Dr Sharma said as the population in the city has gone beyond 14 lakh and the number of vehicles has gone past nine lakh, traffic regulation is very important to minimize accidents. This initiative will first teach volunteers about road sense who in turn will spread the awareness to the public.
There are about 57 intersections in the city. 19 crossings are installed with traffic signalling system and the rest are done manually to regulate traffic. After the volunteers complete training on traffic rules and regulations, they will be stationed at 57 intersections under the Bhubaneswar Commissionerate police, he added.
The volunteers will be seen wearing T-shirts with Traffic volunteers inscribed at their back and caps with Commissionerate police logo printed on it while performing their duties. The volunteers will be inducted into the traffic police force after verification of their character certificates.
The volunteers will offer honorary and non-remunerative service. The volunteers will stand on the road for three hours in the daytime. The timing will be 9 am to 11.30 am and 4 pm to 7.30 pm.
Being volunteers, they shall not have any statutory powers of imposing fines on traffic violators. The volunteers would help the traffic police in their campaign to educate the public on traffic rules and assist those injured during an accident.
At present, one ACP rank officer, one inspector, four sub-inspectors, nine assistant sub-inspectors, 173 constables, 96 home guards and 48 personnel of Odisha Auxiliary Police Force (OAPF) supervise 57-odd traffic posts in the city.
On the occasion city Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said lack of parking lots has been a cause for concern as it regularly triggers traffic congestion at different places, especially between Vani Vihar, Raj Mahal Squares, along the road of Unit-I haat and Unit-II building market.
“Traffic police, along with officers from Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the general administration department have planned recently to build multi-level parking lots in the city to reduce traffic problem. Seven places have been identified in the city to have these parking lots in the city soon,” he said..
Activist Linkan Subudhi speaking to the media said the volunteers group have been named as Road Angels. “I have named the group after being inspired by the work of Noida based traffic volunteers group which is having the same name,” she said.
BJD MLA, Bhubaneswar North Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA Bhubaneswar Madhya Bijay Kumar Mohanty, Additional Commissioner of Police P S Ranpise, DCP Bhubaneswar Satyabrata Bhoi, DCP Cuttack Sanjeev Arora, Lokamitra Foundation head Ravi Sharma were aming those present on the occasion