A large portion of the Delhi Traffic police work force screened for lung limit work in the city were found to have shortness of breath, irregular lung capacity, unfavourable susceptibility and hypertension. Reports indicate numerous side effects demonstrative of ahead of schedule indications of asthma like wheezing, shortness of breath, midsection snugness or torment, perpetual hacking, harried dozing because of hacking or wheezing.
It cannot get more insensitive and cruel on the part of our system. We take Delhi Traffic Police for granted and never spare a thought to the extreme conditions under which they operate. There is so much talk about road rage and how innocent victims are injured and killed, but it is not worth noticing that the Delhi Traffics Police is a bigger victim.
In the last five years, as many as 86 Delhi Traffic Police personnel have been grievously injured and around five deaths have been reported as well. There is utter disregard for the traffic cops on the roads and they are largely considered unworthy of our attention. We don’t realise that in most cases, it is the public, you and I, who offer bribes to get away. Yes, there may be elements in the force that do not adhere to the ethics, but largely, the cops in white shirt and blue pants are with the people, not against them. People flout rules and argue, they threaten cops with repercussions, and they even get physical with them.
But that is not all. The worst part starts with the 18-our long shifts. The Delhi Traffic Police is short-handed, overworked and badly underequipped with out-dated machinery and infrastructure. The mother of all issue is their deadly exposure to deadly pollution at busy intersections every day.
Some of the cops we spoke to didn’t want to be named or photographed, but they did reveal a grim state of affairs for the Delhi Traffic Police. “Delhi is so polluted and we stand in scorching sun all day long. Fumes from exhausts hit us every moment and we don’t even know what’s happening to our internal system, we don’t know how badly our lungs are affected,” said a young cop who joined duty just a year ago. He added: “we don’t even have masks to protect our lungs.”
Another traffic cop, who appeared to be a veteran with his retirement just a year away, said he has multiple lung disorders already and his old age might be spent paying off medical bills.
The Delhi Traffic Police, unlike their army counterparts, don’t enjoy any facility. Their children don’t get free or subsidised education, they don’t have a hospital to take care of their families, like army has hospitals. Army deserves it, but the cops deserve it too.
Another harsh reality is that only five percent of the total force is given bikes. Instead of working in shifts, they are pushed for long hours. We should work in shifts. Our duty should be close to our homes, we are forced to travel so far.”
Disturbing facts: Only one percent of the total Delhi police force is deployed for traffic, out of which 40 percent are on VIP duty. In Delhi, for over 80 lakh vehicles, there are only 5,500 traffic cops – most of them working overtime and subjected to frequent transfers.