Bhubaneswar, March 12: Traffic cops in the city are feeling the heat. The mercury touched 40.2°C today and chances of respite appear slim.
Traffic constables and home guards on traffic duty will shortly be sporting hats, umbrellas, sunglasses and white gloves as part of their summer protection gear. They would also have a supply of glucose water to keep themselves from swooning.
Not only this. Traffic booths will be fitted with fans and painted white to keep them cool.
Traffic cops said summer was the worst period for them. “It’s very hot between 11.30am and 3.30pm. But we have to stand in the sun and discharge our duties,” said a traffic constable posted at S-complex Square.
Met officials said temperatures would hover between 38 and 40°C for the next few days in the city.
There are around 300 police constables, havildars and home guards, including 50 women cops, posted at nearly 60 traffic posts at various squares in the city.
Quite a few traffic booths are in poor condition, which forces policemen to stand under the sun.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Nitinjeet Singh said the going was tough in view of the fact that the city temperature had already touched 40 °C. “We will provide our people the right kind of gear to help them keep cool. We will also arrange for water. This will help avoid sunstroke and dehydration.”
Last year, a traffic constable posted at AG Square was hospitalised after he collapsed near the traffic booth following sunstroke after prolonged exposure to heat. Another 29-year-old trainee traffic constable died of sunstroke last year while undergoing training at the Urban Police and Traffic Training Institute.
Every year, several organisations voluntarily come forward and provide glucose water to traffic cops on duty. “We expect some of these organisations to come forward this year as well. Besides, we will have our own people providing water to on-duty personnel. We will instruct our men and women on traffic duty to take all kinds of precautions to beat the heat while on duty,” said assistant commissioner of police Binod Das.
Sources said that as there were no official funds allocated for the police to combat heat, they depended on corporate houses for help.
“We have been provided with items such as sunglasses, gloves and hats, with which we will be able to beat the heat and discharge our duties properly,” said Rudra Hota, a home guard.