The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 14 , 2014
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Bonhomie run irks commuters
Police try to bond for better service

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 13: A mini-marathon organised by twin city police to foster police-public friendship saw few citizens participating in it and caused a lot of inconvenience to commuters, especially schoolchildren.

The road race was organised to mark the sixth commemoration day of the city police that came into existence on January 1, 2008.

Starting from the Odisha State Armed Police 7th battalion ground at Chandrasekharpur, the event culminated at the commissionerate building near Powerhouse Square.

While director general of police Prakash Mishra came fourth in the senior citizen’s category, police commissioner R.P. Sharma came fifth.

However, Nishant Vairab, the six-year-old son of deputy commissioner of police (traffic) S. Shyni. T, stole the show.

Nishant was rewarded for completing the 3km stretch without rest.

While Odia cine star Sabyasachi Mishra had to quit the race midway to attend his shooting schedule, Akash Das Nayak joined later and handed over prizes to women winners.

Speaking at the event, Mishra said the mini-marathon was meant for building a bond with the common man.

“Such events increase the visibility of police personnel to the general public and it help in removing the fear among people towards cops. Besides it will change the image of the police and help in providing better policing. We are planning to organise such events in the districts on police day,” said Mishra.

Sharma, however, said that they had been stressing on building people-cop relationship to providing better service.

“This was visible from the massive participation in today’s event,” Sharma said.

Actor Akash, who was a hit among the runners, appreciated the move of the police to reach out to the people.

However, not many common man turned up to participate in the event. Those who joined the run were members of the Red Cross Society of India. Most of the runners were trainee policemen or young police personnel.

Besides the road run caused heavy inconvenience to early morning commuters, who had to wait for long to cross the road at different squares.

As the event was organised on a Monday, schools were open and these caused a lot of inconvenience to the students.

As the race started at 6.40am and ended at 7.30am, several parents were seen waiting at traffic squares with their kids riding pillion.

At Kalinga Stadium Square a policeman was seen hurling abuses at a school van driver, who was trying to cross the road to pick up kids from their houses.

As the DGP ran towards the square, with other IPS officers in tow, policemen was trying hard to stop the vehicles from crossing over to the other side of the road. Even an ambulance was seen waiting at Shastri Nagar Square to cross the road.

“Normally all such events are organised on Sundays or holidays when it does not affect the common man. The mini-marathon was held on a chilly Monday morning and I had to wait for it to end to drop my child to school,” said Siddharth Dehury, a private company employee who was waiting with his son at Kalinga Stadium Square.

Interestingly, while policemen were diverting vehicles on one side of the road to prevent them from going towards the runners, at Jayadev Vihar Square a bull came in front of the DGP and other officers crossing the median.

Senior police officers said that the civic poll here had delayed the event and there was no time except today to organise it.