New Delhi, Aug. 1: Arunachal Pradesh is woefully lacking in traffic police officers and equipment, a top police officer of the state bitterly complained during a state road ministers’ conference here yesterday.
“We have only 34 sanctioned posts for traffic police officers, but a majority of them are posted in the capital itself because of the high VIP movement in the state,” said DIG, Eastern Range, H.G.S. Dhaliwal.
Delhi stands in sharp contrast as it has over 6,000 traffic police officers.
Arunachal Pradesh has a 13-lakh population spread over 17 districts. It has a total of 2 lakh vehicles and a huge number of government trucks and cars run in the area because of heavy presence of security personnel.
Last year, 126 people died in accidents in the state.
The numbers have been coming down steadily since 2009, but the officials claimed it was not enough. In 2009, the figure was 158.
In case of severity of accident, Arunachal Pradesh rates high.
For every 100 accidents, according to analysis by the road transport and highway ministry, at least 50 people die.
The highest number of accidents and deaths takes place in Papum Pare district where 23 lives were lost last year in 69 accidents.
Dhaliwal said even in such accident-prone areas they were not able to do much because of lack of manpower. “We have deputed police officers on traffic duty, but training for traffic police officer is necessary,” he said.
The Arunachal Pradesh government had asked the home ministry to sanction 438 traffic officers.
The home ministry has shot down the proposal citing funds crunch.
The state government has asked from the ministry of road transport and highways Rs 781 lakh for purchase of traffic equipment.
Arunachal Pradesh is not the only state.
Manipur has merely 41 posts for traffic police officers. The situation is no better in Nagaland and Mizoram.
Delhi stands in extreme contrast to these states. The city alone has close to 6,000 traffic police personnel.
Apart from manpower, bad road connectivity is also a big problem for the state.
There are times when an officer has to drive up till the foothills of a certain mountain and then he has to hike up because road does not exist. Another vehicle waits for him on the other side of the mountain. Work on new highways is still going on which is adding to the problem.