200 senior cops to help ease Ahmedabad traffic snarls

In a move to ease road jams, the city traffic police department has started a process to recruit senior policemen who are interested to work with the department. According to traffic police officials, 200-odd senior policemen will be recruited after necessary tests.

In Ahmedabad, there are only 850 traffic policemen against the sanctioned strength of 1,200 for more than two lakhs registered vehicles.

Joint Commissioner of Traffic (in-charge) Sanjay Srivastava on Sunday said, "We are recruiting experienced policemen for the traffic department. No rookie policeman or Lok Rakshak will be selected for this job. The policemen will have to pass all tests of vehicles, traffic laws and regulations."

"This will bring to an end to inexperienced boys managing, rather mismanaging traffic on the roads. Most of the policemen in the department are without their will. We will recruit only those policemen who are willing to work with traffic police," he said.

The traffic department has been managing the shortage of staff so far with the help of the homeguards who are handling traffic at major junctions in the city. As many as 500 homeguards have been give to the traffic department for help.

According to sources, a traffic policeman draws a salary of Rs 80 per day which is less than half of a hoamguard's salary.

"After the pay scale of homeguards was increased to Rs 200 per day, they also seem reluctant to take up traffic policemen's work. We have written to the state Home Department to increase the salary of traffic policemen to Rs 200 per day at least. The Department is working on it," said Srivastava.

The traffic police's Traffic Brigade (all ex-servicemen) has also a strength of only 225 men that manages BRTS lanes.

DCP Traffic D H Parmar said, "The VIP/VVIP functions increased this year adding to woes of traffic personnel. When one event ended, the other was ready to begin. We have managed all events effectively but we couldn't be at all places at one time. The traffic ran out of gear and we had no choice but to manage the events."

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