In a step towards getting closer to the people, the Madurai District Police conducted a day-long grievance meeting with the public of Usilampatti and surrounding pockets by organising an interaction in their own hamlets.
On assuming office, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan told reporters that he would visit each of the police sub-division in the district periodically and interact with the public directly.
This would give an opportunity for the people to represent their problems one-on-one and also play as a catalyst in knowing each other directly. Once the public get convinced that the police are pro-active, it would pave way for a better understanding of the issues and help avoid unwanted confusion, he asserted.
Mr. Balakrishnan, accompanied by Usilampatti DSP Kumar and other officers visited Chekkanoorani, Karumathur, Chellampatti, Valandur, Nakkalapatti, Thottapanaickanur among other places in Usilampatti sub-division, where a large number of people submitted petitions.
The public wanted traffic police to be deployed near the Thevar statue in Chekkanoorani to regulate vehicle movement. The encroachment on the highways too posed threat and paved way for accidents in the locality.
At Karumathur, when the petitioners wanted to post a traffic constable in front of Claret school, Mr. Balakrishnan suggested that NCC cadets could be trained to take traffic management after getting an orientation for about a month. A request to open a police out-post was also taken positively as the SP said, he would examine it immediately.
A group of youth at Chellampatti wanted the police to open a branch library, to which Mr. Balakrishnan assured to discuss with officials at the district level coordination meeting. As many petitioners talked of the menace posed by loud speakers, he agreed to act and instructed the jurisdiction police officers to take stern action against violators. During festivals, the organisers may use loud speakers as per the permitted decibel levels. Similarly, use of fire-crackers near restricted zones like hospitals should be avoided, he advised.
The police have been getting complaints of some youths having access to whiteners, which was being used as an alcohol. He appealed to the villagers to be vigilant and inform the police on sale of whiteners and warned of stern action against the sellers.
At Valandur, when petitioners pointed out to the non-stopping of buses in the designated stops, the SP said, he would take it up with the District Collector and also with the TNSTC authorities. The Valandur public need not go to Chekkanoorani station to submit petitions to the Inspector. Instead, the Inspector would visit the village on fixed days, the public were told.
Public at Nakkalapatti village complained of inaction against gambling activities in the locality. They also wanted to take firm action against persons who indulged in unlawful acts after consuming liquor.
The Thottapanayakanur villagers wanted to shift the TASMAC liquor shop situated on the main road to another location. They wanted resumption of jallikattu. . As garbage was being dumped near a school it lead to wordy altercations that snowballed between the public into exchange of blows. On a request from the SP, the village president immediately promised to install a dumper bin and solve the issue.
When contacted, Mr. Balakrishnan told The Hindu on Monday that he visited eight villages in Usilampatti sub-division, wherein public from all communities interacted. In fact, an elderly person said, “I have never seen a Superintendent of Police visit my hamlet in my life time…Please do visit us regularly,” he wished, the SP noted.