33% ‘sensitive’ women cops to man traffic

Traffic cops

The Mumbai Traffic Police will soon have one-third women constables. This comes after the Bombay High Court expressed concern over the lack of sensitivity among traffic policemen. In response to this, Mumbai Police Commissioner (CP) Arup Patnaik told the court that the force will soon have 33 per cent women constables.

"The Traffic Police will now have 33 per cent women constables, who will be more sensitive," said Patnaik, who was asked to appear before the court along with Joint CP (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar last week following a PIL by the Bombay Bar Association (BBA) and the Western India Automobile Association seeking greater traffic safety and strict adherence to traffic norms in the city.

Apprising the court of the steps taken by the police to counter traffic-related problems, Patnaik said, "There is a lot to be done. For the past 20 years, we are asked what is happening with the traffic. We will do our best."

Chief Justice Mohit Shah said, "If the CP and the Joint CP are looking into this, it will keep the traffic constables on their toes."

Patnaik said he had banned the entire force from speaking on cellphones and he had pulled up officers found talking on the phone or texting on duty. The duty hours of the constables posted in areas like Chowpatty have been extended and some traffic constables will soon have revolvers that will help them tackle crimes like chain-snatching, the CP told the court.

He said around 100 CCTV cameras are installed, but in the aftermath of the 13/7 blasts the government is working on a war footing to get more CCTVs. However, Patnaik said, "We have a problem on the front of potholes." Quizzing the BMC about the quality of material used for construction, Justice R P Sondurbaldota said, "The fact that within a year the road goes bad speaks for itself."

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