At high noon on busy Poonamalee High Road on Wednesday, a traffic police constable mopped his sweaty brow and then reached out for a chilled glass of lemonade. He downed it in one go and returned to his post with a smile on his face. In a bid to help traffic policemen beat the heat, the State Government has come up with a cool idea to provide them lemon juice while at work.
On Tuesday, during the demand for grants for the Police Department in the State Assembly, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that the drink would be served to over 6,500 traffic police personnel during duty hours. Pointing out that the officers manned traffic for four hours each in the mornings and evenings, she said they would be served the drink at intervals of two hours from 8 a.m to 4 p.m every day for four months.
A day after the announcement, traffic policemen in the city were in for a pleasant surprise. “We began serving lemonade right from Wednesday. The officers seemed happy,” said Sanjay Arora, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
Summer time is especially stressful for traffic policemen as they stand for long hours under the sun battling vehicle fumes and heavy traffic. The welcome gesture is expected to bring them some relief. “Though we wear pith hats, the scorching sun drains us completely. A glass of lemonade every two hours will help us a great deal,” said a traffic constable.
Officers are working on the logistics of supplying the drink to various police stations across the city. “Right now, it is centrally procured from the additional commissioner's office on Poonamalee High Road and sent to different areas. It would save us time and effort if we could source the lemonade from our respective zones,” said a traffic constable.