Traffic cops to click selfie when starting duty

Mubarak Ansari
Monday, 18 March 2019

They will also be posted at same chowk for six months, instead of eight days

Pune: The Traffic Branch of the Pune city police has issued a diktat to cops that from Sunday they will have to stand at the same chowk for the next six months (as against eight days previously) and that they have to click a selfie along with a newspaper and send the selfie to their superiors. The in-charge of the traffic division has to take a round at 8.30 am and click photos of the on-duty staff.

Though Police Commissioner Dr K Venkatesham termed the move as the next step towards bringing about traffic discipline, the move has not gone down well with the staffers. 

Speaking to Sakal Times, a policeman said, “One size does not fit all. All over the city the staffers have to report at the designated chowks at 7-8 am. But the traffic is not there in many areas from early morning. The areas with markets start functioning 10 am onwards. Where IT Parks are located, the traffic begins early in the morning.”

Another cop said, “There is a particular time at which we have to report for duty in the morning but no particular time when we go home  at night.”

Many personnel termed the move as unjust to police personnel as the duties will not be equally distributed. “Earlier we were on duty for a week and it was rotated among staffers in the division (equivalent of police station in traffic branch). Therefore, there was no load on a particular staffer for long period as some chowks have heavy traffic, while at many places human intervention is at minimum level.”

A police inspector cautioned against staffers getting into nexus if deployed at one place for long.  “The temptations are too high. It is not a good move to keep one person in the same place for so many months. It also has another aspect that the staffer may get too friendly with the neighborhood and it will become difficult to take action,” he added. 

Part of ERA: Police chief
Police Commissioner Venkatesham said, “The move is part of principle  of empowerment, responsibility, accountability (ERA), being followed by Pune police. Each team of traffic personnel will know problems of that area. They will be able to own issues and implement solutions. Similarly this team will be more accountable.”

DCP (Traffic) Pankaj Deshmukh said, “We wanted to make our personnel responsible for the junction at which they regulate traffic. By keeping their duties for a longer tenure at same place we can improve the traffic conditions as they will come up with solutions for that particular junction. They will work in hard i.e stressful junctions and light junctions intermittently but for a period of 6 months. This will ensure that they are not stressed out.”

Talking about the selfies, he added, “Selfie is just an experiment to ensure that both constable and officers are on road and on time. We get feedback from citizens about traffic congestion in morning hours due to absence or late reporting of personnel. Hence we  thought about it. The punctual officers and men have welcomed it as those indisciplined will have to turn up on time.”

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