Task force to check Delhi’s rogue drivers, corrupt cops

By Praveen Kumar, IANS
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NEW DELHI - Rogue drivers and corrupt traffic cops had better watch out. Delhi Police have set up a Special Task Force (STF) to rein them in, spurred by the public response to the force’s Facebook account and helpline number.

Traffic police say they receive around 250-300 complaints on their helpline number, 23010101, and around 200 comments on their Facebook account daily.

The STF consists of 22 traffic police personnel, drawn from its 10 districts. There are two inspectors to lead the team. Its operations are not linked to existing traffic police teams. The STF aims to strengthen the traffic management system in the capital where heavy rains in the monsoon season and continuing work for the October Commonwealth Games together created a traffic nightmare for commuters.

Ajay Chadha, special commissioner, Delhi Traffic Police, said the STF has been formed to conduct surprise checks across the city and to deter traffic rule violators.

“With a rise in the number of vehicles, traffic offences have also increased. There are several roads where slow movement of vehicles has become a regular phenomenon. Surprise checks will help regulate the traffic flow,” Chadha told IANS.

Delhi has over four million vehicles, including public transport.

The STF was formed about a month ago and it has been conducting surprise checks along various stretches in the city. The name of the stretch is selected with care and kept under wraps until a day before action, said a senior officer.

The stretch is decided on the basis of public feedback. “We are getting commuters’ feedback through Facebook and helplines. We decide the stretch for surprise checks according to complaints,” said the officer.

For instance, the traffic police’s Facebook account Tuesday carried a post: “Delhi Traffic Police @Mr.Parteek Kapoor, action is taken against the erring police personnel and 2,397 police personnel have been prosecuted during current year.(AR).”

The STF has been kept away from local traffic police teams so that it can keep an eye on the working of the latter. “It would help in better productivity of local traffic police officials,” added the officer.

Senior police officers believe the formation of the STF would also help in keeping check over corrupt practices in the force. “Sometimes we receive complaints of corruption. The STF would act as a deterrent in that regard,” said a senior officer.

Delhi Traffic Police have a strength of about 5,500 personnel and about 600 additional hands would be added before the Commonwealth Games in October.

The additional force would help in managing the city’s traffic during the Games. At present, there is hardly any monitoring of roads at night. But in the coming days, this too would be started, an officer said.

(Praveen Kumar can be contacted at praveen.k@ians.in)

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