For a safer sojourn in the snow

Arunachal's Roing police set up special team to ensure safety of tourists

By Rishu Kalantri in Tinsukia
  • Published 13.10.17
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The Roing tourist police team. Picture by Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia, Oct. 12: Tourists to Roing in Arunachal Pradesh, known for the famous Mayodia pass, have reason to feel safer this winter.

Roing police have set up a special tourist police beat to ensure a secure and friendly atmosphere for visitors. They police are preparing to meet the huge rise in the number of tourists since the country's longest bridge, the Bhupen Hazarika Setu, connecting Dhola on the south bank and Sadiya on the north, was opened to the public on May 26, 2017.

This first-of-its-kind initiative in the Northeast is the brainchild of the superintendent of Roing police, Sanjay Sain.

Dedicating the unit at police beat house in upper market, Roing, today, he said, "The primary and exclusive task of this unit is to facilitate and extend its support to tourists in need. This includes police assistance during medical emergencies, rescue and guidance."

Sain told The Telegraph: "To augment a safe and friendly atmosphere for tourists, whose numbers have increased after the opening of the bridge, we decided to establish a special tourist police unit. Unlike nearly 500 tourists on a weekend around this time last year, we have recorded around 5,000 tourists on weekends this year, with 600 to 700 vehicles entering Roing."

"The bridge has connected this remote land with the mainland, reducing travel distance by over six hours," he added.

Earlier, visitors had to cross the Brahmaputra by boat and reach Mayodia in Roing, considered a mini Switzerland, by road. This travel hurdle, coupled with the restrictions regarding the timings of boats, made it impossible for tourists to return the same day. Roing is nearly 107km northeast of Tinsukia and 615km from Guwahati respectively.

Mayodia got its name from a Nepali girl, Maya, who vanished in the snow and could not be traced. The pass is around 56km northeast of Roing and over 100km before the Sino-Indian border, 2,655 metres above the sea level.

Sain said, "We observed a heavy influx of tourists after the bridge opening despite it being off-season. We started looking at winters, when Mayodia witnesses snowfall, attracting tourists. The scenario may turn worse then."

"Another worry is the rise in the crimegraph, particularly accidents recorded after the opening of the bridge. Hence we came up with this concept to safeguard the interest of the tourists coming to Roing," he added.

The tourist police beat will comprise six personnel, including a sub-inspector and an officer from the district tourism unit, and will have a PCR Sumo at its disposal.

"The PCR Sumo will have 'tourist police' written in front and at the rear to make it identifiable for tourists in need. We are planning to include female police personnel in the coming time," added Sain.

The team will be equipped with walkie-talkies to get in touch with police stations and call back-up and initiate rescue missions without wasting any time.

"The beat will be equipped with a list of hotels and their numbers, list of taxi operators with contact numbers and the fares approved by deputy commissioner of Roing, important telephone numbers of the district, including vital installations. The in-charge of tourist police shall make it available at all tourist booths," he said.