Home Guard jawans man vehicles at Sujata Chowk, Ranchi, on Thursday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi’s traffic nightmare may end soon.
The Home Guard is stepping in to fill up the manpower gap in the force that has so far been struggling to keep road rogues under leash.
A team of 50 traffic policemen, led by their SP Chandrasekhar Prasad, has started briefing Home Guard jawans on their new role. Since February 17, when the exercise began, two batches — each comprising 50 Home Guard personnel — have been given on-the-spot training at prominent city chowks and roundabouts. The learn-as-you-work sessions began at 8am and ended at 8pm. Each training period has lasted for four days.
“The jawans are being detailed on manual regulation of traffic. Their knowledge of signal lights, zebra crossing, U-turn rules, et al, is being brushed up too,” said a source.
Governor’s adviser K. Vijay Kumar has prodded the recent development. He spoke to Home Guard’s outgoing Jharkhand DG after being informed that the 3,500-strong auxiliary force was not being properly used to maintain law and order and instead being lavished on safety of IAS and IPS officers in districts.
DG Rajeev Kumar, who is the senior-most IPS officer in the state, confirmed that a section of Home Guard jawans would henceforth man traffic in the capital.
But, is the limited period of training enough for effective traffic policing?
Binay Kumar Jha, a DSP rank officer of the Home Guard in Jharkhand, said it was. “All those undergoing traffic briefing sessions are already trained personnel. Those from rural pockets were trained for 42 days earlier and others from urban areas participated in a 50-day programme. After from this, they take part in refresher courses organised from time to time. The duration of a course is 28 days,” Jha said.
The Home Guard’s new role has made traffic policemen happy. “Until recently, we barely had 200 constables manning more than 50 roundabouts and chowks, besides VIP routes. But, ever since the training has started, we are getting at least 50 hands extra, which is very welcome,” said officer-in-charge of traffic police station K.K. Jha.
The jawans are glad too. “Earlier, we were deputed at homes of bureaucrats and VIPs. It is a boring thing to just sit at one place. But now, we feel proud because we are helping the public. Though our new job is strenuous, it gives us satisfaction,” said Praveen Bara, a Home Guard jawan at Sujata Chowk.
Will Home Guard jawans be able to stem traffic chaos?