Editorial: Cop sets the course

Srinagar: Setting a change in motion is no easy task. That too in a system which is dogmatic in nature and hardly cares for a change. However, one officer in an otherwise messy department like Traffic police is defining new ways and means for setting the system straight that has otherwise gone terribly wrong.

Less than a fortnight into his new assignment, an IPS officer, Basant Rath is trying to manage traffic in Jammu. Though his ways and means are drawing applause and brickbats for his flamboyant work style, but a change is being witnessed on ground.

Basant Rath, who took over as the inspector general of police (traffic) in Jammu on February 9 has been praised for his innovative ways to manage traffic and criticised for his outspoken behaviour on social media.

The cops videos and photographs while managing traffic at busy junctions in the winter capital has been a hit on the Internet, even people have started to compare him to the silver screen image of tough cops like ‘Singham’ and ‘Dabangg’.

The top cop has surely set an example, but this change needs to be set in motion across the state and the change should be made a regular feature in the system. No wonder then that cops here in Kashmir too have come out with an advisory for vehicles ferrying students.

As per the advisory, traffic police has asked the van and school bus drivers to have a valid permit to ferry students to and from the schools. They have also issued various do’s and don’ts for the drivers of these vehicles citing supreme courts orders on the issue.

However, one wonders as to the nature of advisory being issued and the seriousness shown by the traffic cops on ground to implement these rulings. The advisory was issued earlier but what happened to the implementation of these advisories is anybody’s guess.

The traffic mess in Srinagar city and other major towns in the Valley is no hidden secret. The police, administration and even some voluntary groups that show up to help to solve the crisis have failed miserably to tackle the menace. 

The reasons are many but the traffic cops who have a major role to play are playing hide and seek over this crucial and all important issue. The traffic department’s planning has fallen to questions on several fronts. One being the interference of the top bosses in the government to poke their nose and spoil everything, the other is the inability of the traffic cops to deal with the issue on scientific lines.

In Kashmir the public transport is the major cause of traffic woes. No driver tries to follow traffic rules and for this not only the cops, but we as part of the society have a role to play. Unless and until we do not understand the basic functioning of traffic system things will not change. Therefore, well formulated public awareness campaigns should be the first priority.  

For setting a change into motion some seriousness on the part of commuters and strictness on the part of traffic department is a must. Let us both play our roles to perfection.






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