| Constables Kumari Simple Sinha and (below) Premlata Kumari man traffic on Patna roads. Pictures by Ranjeet Kumar Dey
Kumari Simple Sinha, a newly recruited woman constable, was at a loss after witnessing hundreds of women and girls proceeding towards Voltas crossing on Bailey Road in the capital last week.
The procession taken out in protest against steep rise in cases of atrocities against women threw traffic out of gear. There was chaos all around on the busy Bailey Road.
Sinha, who was deployed at Voltas traffic post to regulate the traffic, however, did not lose her patience and sought help from her seniors. After all, it was a new experience for the new recruit and she had to cope with the situation. She signalled the vehicle drivers to stop on one flank and allowed the procession on the other side of the road to proceed. It took almost 15 minutes to bring the traffic under control. Till then, she used all the tricks she learnt during the training to manage the traffic at peak hours.
“It was a great test for me. I heaved a sigh of relief after the traffic normalised,” she said, narrating her first brush with Patna’s chaotic traffic to The Telegraph.
Sinha’s seniors patted her for handling the situation well. Since then, she has been regulating the traffic from one post to another on a regular basis. “I was inducted in the traffic police about one-and-a-half months ago. I, along with other lady constables, was imparted a week’s basic training before being assigned field duty,” she said.
Sinha is among the 20 women constables assigned the task of ensuring smooth traffic flow in the capital. They all have been deployed to assist their seniors in regulating vehicle movement.
“Around 20 lady constables, who have completed their training at the school at Nathnagar in Bhagalpur, have been asked to assist their colleagues in maintaining safe vehicular movement on important roads of the capital,” said sergeant major (traffic) Anil Kumar.
He said the women constables were imparted a weeklong basic training at the traffic police station before the new assignments. “They perform duty in the first shift from 9am to 2pm,” Anil said, adding that they had been deployed for two months on an experimental basis.
He said the women constables have been deputed because they can perform their duty well at traffic posts. “They are physically fit for this job,” he said, adding that he was satisfied with their performance.
For most of the newly recruited constables, regulating traffic is a new experience. “I have been on the duty for about a month. There is more traffic pressure on Bailey Road compared to other roads. You have to always remain vigilant on the traffic post,” said Premlata Kumari.
Premlata was deployed at Voltas crossing on Tuesday. “I am learning the tricks from my seniors on how to ease the pressure. Snarls can easily build up if not prevented. In such a situation, you may have to face the ire of your seniors,” she said.
Patna superintendent of police (traffic) Chandrika Prasad attributed the deployment of more cops on the city traffic posts to the increase in the flow of vehicles during festivals.
“We are facing manpower shortage. The deployment of women constables will provide relief to the cops, who have to work in shifts to manage traffic,” he said.