Come rain or shine, the city’s traffic cops have to ensure smooth vehicular movement, drawing flak from commuters for even the sorry state of roads
Regulating traffic movement and reining in rule violators are not the only duties of the traffic police. Often, they also have to don the role of labourers, thanks to the traffic snarls triggered by bad roads or water-logged areas.
Potholes slow down the pace of vehicular movement, leading to congestion on busy routes. Eventually, it turns into traffic jams.
“For people travelling on the road, we look like the first culprits. They start shouting at us, unaware of the reasons for the traffic hold-up,” say traffic policemen.
Rains make it worse
Along with ditches and potholes on the roads, water-logging adds to the woes of the traffic policemen. With a prolonged spell of rains this year, things have gone from bad to worse.
Among other duties assigned to the traffic police on patrol duty – constables on bikes moving about in their jurisdiction – are alerting higher-ups about potholes, illegal digging of roads and encroachments by hawkers.
“We begin our work each day with feedback from them, because we can afford anything but not traffic congestion due to bad roads,” senior traffic police officials say.
The moment they learn about potholes, they alert civic authorities like the GHMC or the R&B department or the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) but maintain that often the response is “not so quick”.
Filling the ditches
Road users usually are in no mood to listen to such explanations, labelling them ‘lame excuses’. The only option for the traffic policeman is to “somehow manage to bring in mud or gravel” and fill the ditches, instead of waiting for Godot to arrive.
Trimulgherry Traffic Inspector T. Srinivas Reddy recently had to procure more than six lorry loads of mud to level the damaged road near Diamond Point. There are scores of instances where the traffic police had filled the ditches and levelled roads to avoid curses from road users.
The damaged stretch from NMDC at Masab Tank to Mehdipatnam is another classic example.
“Different government wings keep passing the buck as to who should repair it. We cannot keep watching their arguments and hence are forced to fill the potholes,” the traffic police maintain.