Ever since the traffic police set a deadline for the removal of sun films on windows and windshields of cars, there has been a flurry of enterprising individuals willing to get their hands a little dirty.

Using just a blade and a bottle of cleaning liquid, young boys can be seen in different parts of the city offering to remove the sun film from cars for a fee. Those availing their services will be poorer by Rs. 100 to Rs. 350 per car.

Interestingly, at the Indiranagar RTO, the traffic police have set up a counter offering to remove the film for free. Yet, right next to it, groups of teenage boys have set up temporary shops where they take off the film for Rs. 350 a car.

More surprising is that the queue in front of the paid service counters was much longer than at the free counter set up by the police. The reason was not far to seek — the free counter had only three overworked police constables.

“They also do a better job,” said Vijay Trivedi, pointing to the boys who were not only stripping off the sun film but also did a thorough job of cleaning the glass. In the half hour that The Hindu spent at the RTO, at least 50 vehicle owners got their sun films removed by the young entrepreneurs.

A similar pattern was witnessed in other parts of the city, particularly in Shivajinagar and J.C Road, which are known for their automobile spare parts shops.

On J.C. Road, several shop owners who specialise in automobile accessories have set up small counters outside their outlets exclusively to remove the sun film.

But it is not like there are no takers for the free service being offered by the police as a goodwill measure.

At BRV Grounds in Shivajinagar, the police department has hired dozens of daily wage labourers to render the free service. The response from the public here has been much better and hundreds of cars could be seen lining up. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem said, “Most car owners can very well afford to get the sun film removed on their own. However, we decided to offer the free service as part of our citizen connect programme.”

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