Ensuring a safe passage

Ensuring a safe passage

Ensuring a safe passage

The plush settings of the many lounges at the Chinnaswamy Stadium during the IPL matches prompt people to have one peg too many. However, Bengaluru Traffic Police claim that they have scaled up their checking for drunk driving, especially
on days when a match is being held.

While the police warn people to take a cab back home after the IPL match, those who go to the stadium regularly say that the lack of availability of cabs at that hour and sudden cancellations force them to travel by their own vehicle.

Also, the buses arranged for cricket fans don’t start unless they are full, deterring people from using public transport after the match. Regular IPL goers feel that the police don’t check for cases of drunk driving as much as they claim to do.

Arvind Janakiram, a software engineer, points out that there is no check for drunk driving anywhere near the stadium. “I’ve never seen the traffic police carry out any such checks. There’s so much rush after the match that it is easy for those who have consumed alcohol and drive to escape the cops’ attention,” says Arvind.

Only a handful of lounges in the stadium serve alcohol and not everybody can afford to buy tickets for these lounges, reasons Rafi Ali Khan, a professional. “It is impossible to check for cases of drunk driving near the stadium just after the match, but the police can check for cases in the outer perimeters of the stadium.

I’ve seen the cops concentrating on clearing the traffic jams rather than checking people for drunk driving,” says Rafi.

But Aafreen Rahman, a regular to all the IPL matches, begs to differ. “Those going for the night matches are more likely to be caught if they have consumed alcohol than those going for the day matches. We’ve been stopped and checked several times. It’s a little tough to get cabs back home but we wait till we get one. We don’t risk travelling by our own vehicle,” adds Aafreen.

Adding to this perspective is Nabil Ahmed, a student, who says that he has seen the cops checking for cases of drunk driving. “I always see those who are booked for this negotiating with the police. Even those who don’t drink are not spared of the random checks,” adds Nabil.   

Bengaluru City Commissioner Praveen Sood informs that in addition to checking for drunk driving on weekends, the police have also started checking during the days of the match. “Traffic police personnel are randomly deployed at various locations around the stadium to check for drunk driving. I can’t reveal the exact locations but we have consciously heightened our checks on the match days,” confirms Praveen.