Missing from action during rains

Missing from action during rains

Road blocks

Missing from action during rains

Chaotic: Traffic tends to go haywire on a rainy day. DH photo by Manjunath M S

When it rains, Bangaloreans are left to fend for themselves. Traffic policemen, who could play pointsmen in steering the traffic out of the mess, are missing when they are needed the most, citizens say. The chief of traffic police though denies that cops are not around to help Bangaloreans wade through the waterlogged roads. Metrolife spoke to the traffic police and a few people in the City and asked them if they spotted cops on the road when it rained.

Most people said the cops aren’t around, while the traffic police said they are the first to alert the BBMP when a tree falls, rush to clear traffic and are the first to help. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Safety) Praveen Sood said cops are sitting ducks whenever there is some trouble. He pointed out that people don’t realise that the police are the first to rush to rescue operations when it rains. “You don’t find cops at the spot where they are supposed to be because they’re going about alerting the authorities about a fallen tree and clearing traffic. People are always quick to blame the cops but nobody talks about the good work we do," he said in defence.

Though people by and large felt the traffic police are doing a good job in the City, they said the cops virtually go missing when in rains.

They are never seen, wearing a rain coat and helping people wade through the waters or even clearing out the traffic. “When it rains the first people we turn to are the cops but they are never there when we need them,” is what most people had to say. Despite being provided raincoats and hats, the cops don’t want to take a chance, people thought.

Sanjana Monappa, a class 12 student of Frank Antony Public School, says she’s never seen a cop on the road when it rains. “The roads turn into a virtual death trap when it rains. The manholes open out and the potholes are visible making travel a nightmare.
Worse, there are no indicators that show danger anywhere,” she reasoned.

Pavithra Naveen, a youngster, said the low-lying areas in the City get flooded and she recalled that once their car was stuck in water and there wasn’t anybody around to help them out of the situation.

“Whatever defence the police might make, the cops are never there when it rains. That’s why roads are blocked and traffic never moves on most days when it rains,” said Pavithra.

Srinivas, a realtor, observed that there may be cops in the heart of the City like M G Road, Commercial Street but are none in the interior and residential areas.

 “The gullies and bylanes are all blocked and traffic never moves for hours together. You can’t even reverse the car and get out, it’s chock-a-block. The cops claim they are around but they are always missing,” he says.

 Samarth doesn’t think twice before blaming the cops for the mess in the City. “When it rains, the cops go missing at most intersections in the City. And vehicles get stranded for hours together. People just don’t care,” he said.

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