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Got a bike? Get two helmets

Biking without helmets will no longer be discounted on Ranchi’s roads.

The traffic department is gearing up to launch a sustained campaign against rule rogues who ignore safety and put lives in danger. From Monday, both bikers and their pillion-riders will have to sport helmets to avoid police action. Triple biking too will invite penalty.

The initiative to make capital roads safer comes from acting chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty who on Sunday directed SP (traffic) Rajiv Ranjan to launch the helmet drive within 24 hours.

“Several measures have been taken over the past year to ease congestion, improve traffic flow and make Ranchi safer for commuters. The problem is people obey rules as long as police keep the heat on. As soon as a drive ends, it is back to square one. Hence, I convened a meeting with the traffic SP and asked him to start a sustained drive within 24 hours,” Chakraborty said.

Ranjan added that the acting chief secretary had scheduled another meeting on Monday where he would share his plans on how to clear capital arteries. “I will request him to visit Sahajanand Chowk on Harmu Bypass, where the left lane has been cleared for commuters turning left. Similar arrangements at other squares are equally important to ease traffic congestion. Our helmet checking drive will begin at different places of the city tomorrow.”

Speaking of his other ambitions, Chakraborty — who is a local resident and has served Ranchi as its deputy commissioner in erstwhile Bihar — said the city needed to look like a state capital for starters.

“Go to any capital in India — be it Calcutta, Patna, Bhubaneswar or Lucknow — and you will know the difference in development with Ranchi. So, as long as I serve as CS, I will ensure that concrete steps are taken to let the city evolve in every way,” he maintained.

Chakraborty has a meeting with the DGP in the pipeline where he plans to insist the police brass to advertise phone numbers of senior officers across the city.

“The objective is to help the common man reach out to us. Often it is seen that police stations ignore complaints and people are left helpless. In such a situation, senior officers should be accessible.”