Protest police decision to change uniform colour from khaki to blue

More than 100 traffic wardens in the city stayed off work on Friday in protest against the police’s decision to change the colour of their uniform from khaki to blue. The striking wardens gathered in protest and met senior police officials with the demand to retain the old uniform.

A representative of the traffic wardens said that they would lose their identity and the respect of the people if the uniform were changed. She said that they may go in for a mass agitation if their demands were not heeded.

City Police Commissioner K.G. James, meanwhile, said the police stood by its decision to change the colour of the uniform. “There have been several instances in which the uniform has been misused by the wardens. They have not been recruited by us or put through police training. It is in the light of this misuse that it was decided to change the colour of the uniform. The move will continue,” Mr. James said.

The decision was taken after the police arrested three former traffic wardens in December last year on charge of cheating a woman after promising her a job in the police department. The men were allegedly working with a forger who prepared fake police ID for the accused. The police proposed that the khaki pants worn by traffic wardens be changed to blue.

The police initially found it difficult to manage the entire traffic in the city all on a sudden, especially considering the work on the metro rail. Several traffic wardens had been recruited especially to deal with the traffic diversions and jams created by the metro work.

Mr. James said the police would have no trouble managing the traffic without the striking wardens.

The wardens, meanwhile, are also pushing for a hike in their pay. Traffic wardens recruited by external agencies are currently paid about Rs.300 a day for their work.

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