Visakhapatnam

Traffic police personnel bear the brunt of summer heat in city

Harsh reality: A traffic policeman monitoring traffic flow under hot sun, at Maddilapalem Junction in Visakhapatnam.

Harsh reality: A traffic policeman monitoring traffic flow under hot sun, at Maddilapalem Junction in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Suffer from ailments due to constant exposure to sun

A 45-year old traffic constable K. Lokesh (name changed) comes to his shift by 8 a.m. every day. Irrespective of the rising mercury since the last couple of weeks, Lokesh keeps on monitoring traffic at major junctions including Convent Junction, railway station area and at a few other areas, where heavy vehicles keep on plying round the clock. The traffic police constable finishes his second shift by 6 p.m. (from 2 p.m.) and ends up with a number of ailments such as body pains and other heat related diseases. “After coming home, I suffer from body pains, joint pains and severe headache for standing under sun for long hours. Sometimes, we suffer with sleeplessness, dehydration and fever. Due to inhaling pollutants in the area, breathing problem also arises,” he says.

No dedicated fund

Number of traffic police have been bearing the brunt of the summer heat, for working at several junctions under sun. What seems to add up to their woes is that there is no dedicated fund for the traffic police to buy them summer relief kits. The police wait for sponsors, who provide financial help for distribution of buttermilk, water packets, etc. There are several occasions on which, the Station House Officers (SHOs) had contributed from their pay for the sake of traffic policemen working in such conditions, said another traffic constable.

Major junctions

“Sometimes, co-workers share buttermilk and water packets. But most of the times, we receive water bottles, cool drink bottles from some good samaritans, who pass by. A few locals, especially college students, see us monitoring traffic here on a daily basis and they provide refreshers as a goodwill gesture,” said a traffic police constable working under IV Town Police Station limits.

There are around 600 traffic policemen in the city, who work in general shift and multiple shift basis. A few traffic police opined that at major junctions like NAD, Gajuwaka and a few others, they suffer a lot. At these major junctions, there is a need for a traffic police throughout the day, while in other junctions, it may not be necessary. “Last year, we have received caps and spectacles from a few sponsors. But this year, we have not received any,” said a traffic police constable working under III Town Police Station limits.

Admitting that there is no special funding for the sake of traffic police personnel working under such harsh conditions, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP-Traffic) M.R.K. Raju, said that the SHOs and officers concerned take help of sponsors. “We tell them to be under roof or either at traffic booth when there is no traffic. In some junctions like NAD and a few other major ones, traffic police need to be on duty throughout the day. There we deploy multiple policemen to work on a rotation basis,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 9:11:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/traffic-police-personnel-bear-the-brunt-of-summer-heat-in-city/article27121268.ece

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