One of the 18 kiosks set up for traffic police personnel near
GEL Church Complex in Ranchi. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi traffic police personnel, here’s the green light for your basic comfort on roads — kiosks with overhead roofs, seats, lights and fans.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) recently opened 18 red-and-blue kiosks and will set up 12 more by September-end for traffic policemen. Each Police Yatayat Sahayata Kendra — the mouthful of a name —is designed to give constables some rest as well as commuters a recognisable and designated place to ask questions or report any problem.
Traffic police personnel near GEL Church Complex, Sujata Chowk, Kutchery Chowk, Ratu Road, Machli Ghar, Albert Ekka Chowk, Anjuman Plaza and the like, where the kiosks have been set up, are looking a lot relaxed.
In the almost-ready booth opposite Anjuman Plaza on Main Road, two women traffic constables, Durga Rana and Sushila Kakuri, said unanimously this was the “best gift before the festive season”.
“Hum log ko bahut araam ho gaya hai (We are a lot more relaxed now),” said Rana.
Colleague Kakuri added their duty hours were from 9am to 7.30pm. “Earlier, we stood for hours braving heat and rain to regulate traffic. Now, we can at least sit here for lunch,” she said.
Across the globe, the job of the traffic constable is regarded as one of the toughest.
In India, across small cities such as Ranchi, traffic personnel are exposed to the elements all through their duty hours without the facility of a booth nearby.
Not only does this harm their health, it also raises anger and frustration levels among personnel who are required to stand continuously in rain or shine, breathing toxic fumes and hearing honks without respite.
“This is why booths were a must,” said traffic superintendent of police Rajiv Ranjan Singh. “The booths will help constables perform better.”
“Now, traffic constables have a place to feel at home,” said RMC deputy administrator S. K. Lal. “We have come up with 18 booths with fans, lights and sitting arrangements. In some, work is still under process. Booths, which will come up in Namkum too, are under our modernisation plan,” he added.
Commuters opposite the GEL Church Complex booth also welcomed the infrastructure. “Ranchi is known for its bad traffic. But now, as constables can take rest in between, traffic seems to be more effectively regulated,” said Md Kasim, a bystander.