Ef­fort to de­ter crim­i­nals turns into traf­fic night­mare in S Delhi

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Stuck in traf­fic snarls on Lala La­j­pat Rai Road run­ning past La­j­pat Na­gar to­wards Saket in south Delhi? Blame it on the bar­ri­cades put up by the cops al­most through the day to pre­vent street crimes such as snatch­ings. Hav­ing cre­ated the ob­sta­cles for this pur­pose, po­lice have, how­ever, failed to de­ploy ad­di­tional force to man­age the re­sult­ing traf­fic chaos.

The two bar­ri­cades be­tween Jang­pura and La­j­pat Na­gar fre­quently cause a nag­ging jam stretch­ing for nearly a kilo­me­tre dur­ing peak hours. Traf­fic turns chaotic when some driv­ers try to hurry past the check­posts and while the cops are too busy deal­ing with two wheel­ers.

Aware of the slow­ing of traf­fic by these bar­ri­cades, Delhi Po­lice had trained the per­son­nel at the check posts to si­mul­ta­ne­ously carry out the dual task of scan­ning the mo­tor cars and con­trol­ling traf­fic flow. But the daily re­al­ity has proved the op­ti­mism was mis­placed. A po­lice of­fi­cer said, “We have di­rected the men to place the bar­ri­cades in such a way as to al­low pas­sage to two ve­hi­cles at a time.”

The bar­ri­cades aren’t too ef­fi­cient in stop­ping vi­o­la­tors. Hel­met­less pil­lion riders get off their two wheel­ers ahead of the bar­ri­cade and walk past the cops be­fore re­sum­ing their rides, while many cars slow down but don’t stop. “We have re­quested po­lice to post more men or de­ploy a po­lice ve­hi­cle to de­ter those who are wont to es­cape and also to keep the traf­fic mov­ing,” said Pawan Mun­jal, mem­ber of an RWA in Jang­pura.

Depen­dra Pathak, spe­cial com­mis­sioner, traf­fic, as­sured, “The bar­ri­cades de­ter crim­i­nals look­ing for quick es­cape routes and the bar­ri­cades are erected ac­cord­ingly. At least two peo­ple should man these bar­ri­cades and en­sure min­i­mum in­con­ve­nience to the pub­lic. If these in­struc­tions are vi­o­lated, strict ac­tion is taken against po­lice per­son­nel.”

Af­ter 10pm, two pick­ets co- me up on this stretch of 4km or so with usu­ally two po­lice­men, some­times more, manning them. But the cops ad­mit that if they stop a ve­hi­cle and put it through a check, many oth­ers man­age to evade scru­tiny. And of­ten enough, driv­ers who are flagged down stop in the mid­dle of road and try to rea­son it out with the cops, caus­ing a jam be­hind them.

“It takes more than half an hour to cross the stretch near Jang­pura or an­other on Mathura Road near The Oberoi ho­tel be­cause the road blocks are in a place where the road nar­rows and where there is bot­tle­neck even dur­ing non­peak hours,” said Swati Chaturvedi, a res­i­dent of GK-2 who works at ITO.

Traf­fic cops claimed the force analy­ses road pres­sure ev­ery hour and in case of heavy jams, re­quests the district po­lice to re­move the bar­ri­cades to al­low the bulk of traf­fic to pass. A po­lice of­fi­cer said, “We plan to in­crease the in­ter­vals at which the bar­ri­cades are erected so there is space to ef­fect di­ver­sions.”

Anindya Chat­topad­hyay

Po­lice have trained its per­son­nel at check­posts to carry out the dual task of scan­ning the mo­tor cars and con­trol­ling traf­fic flow

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