The Telegraph
Sunday , January 1 , 2012
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Cop vigil on river picnics

Guwahati, Dec. 31: City police today warned people planning picnics on the first day of the New Year on the Brahmaputra banks and other spots to avoid swimming or bathing in the river and to make sure drivers of their vehicles were not drunk.

Senior superintendent of police (city) Apurba Jiban Baruah said police personnel would be deployed at some of the picnic spots and the river would be patrolled between Pandu and Soonsali, as these areas attract hundreds of picnickers and are prone to frequent incidents of drowning.

“On the first day of the New Year, we appeal to people going for picnics on the riverbank not to venture into the water because many people have drowned while bathing during picnics. This is very dangerous. We also urge people to make sure that drivers of their vehicles are not drunk, because most of the accidents take place when drivers lose control under the influence of alcohol,” Baruah said.

Hundreds of people flock to Soonsali, Kachari, Hatisila, Mirza, Deepor Beel, Chandubi and some other places on the city’s outskirts January 1 every year and sundry accidents are reported. During the last two years, more than 40 people have drowned along the stretch of the river between Pandu and Soonsali.

“We will provide four boats to patrol the picnic spots, including riverine areas, as these are prone to drowning incidents. We will deploy policemen at some spots to request picnickers to avoid swimming and bathing in the river. Patrolling will continue throughout the picnic season,” Baruah said.

He said the police were planning to improve policing in the New Year and a decision had been taken to convene a joint meeting of different civic bodies every month. “Representatives of the police, transport department, Kamrup (metro) district administration, Guwahati Municipal Corporation and Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority will meet and work out joint measures to address people’s problems in the New Year,” he added.

“In 2012, we will give more emphasis on prevention of crime and an additional superintendent of police, Amitabh Sinha, has already been appointed to solely look after criminal cases. We will give equal emphasis on enforcement of traffic rules and improve our traffic management system,” he said.

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