Chennai

In Chennai, cops become mid-road counsellors

At Harrington Road. Photo: Ravindran R  

It a customary practice for the traffic police to issue a challan and then counsel motorists, especially youngsters among them, who overstep the rules of the road.

The pandemic has caused their “counselling workload” to spike sharply. Take the case of the Harrington Road junction in Chetpet.

The Chetpet police personnel manning the junction look for motorists with the missing face mask, wave them down, and give away a free face to them. On an average, every day, these personnel give away face masks to around 70 motorists, mostly youngsters. This gesture is preceded by five minutes of counselling.

After handing over a face mask to the motorist, the police ensure they leave with the mask lodged where it should be.

The initiative to counsel violators of COVID-19 safety protocols and also provide them with free face masks was initiated by Chellapa, inspector (L&O), Chetpet police station (G-7) a few months ago.

At the field level, the initiative is executed by two sub-inspectors — G. Ramalingam at Harrington Road junction and Ravikumar, near the Chetpet bridge, as these are are two key intersections within the limits of Chetpet police station.

“We also collect a token fine of ₹ 20 from repeat offenders as we monitor the traffic spot every day. We give a face mask to those who pay fine too. Our aim is that they should understand the need to wear face masks,” says 57-year-old G. Ramalingam, sub-inspector (L&O), Chetpet police station.

The Teynampet police have put up big screen projectors on important roads, including TTK Road, Eldams Road, Anna Salai and SIET College Road to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour. The police have also drawn markings where those out there without a face mask are asked to stand, and then counselled.

On a novel drive

The Vepery police near the Greater Chennai Police Commissionerate office has roped in autorickshaw drivers to spread the message about wearing face masks and maintaining social distance in public places.

The Vepery police have has brought more than 100 autorickshaw drivers on board for this exercise.

These autorickshaw drivers have been instructed to make sure their passengers wear face masks, while they are being ferried to their destination.

Awareness posters have been pasted in their vehicles. These autorickshaw drivers also undertake the work of preventing people from crowding in market areas and traffic spots on busy sections such as Doveton, Purasawalkam Main Road and Vepery Main Road.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 11:50:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/in-chennai-cops-become-mid-road-counsellors/article34398856.ece

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