As mercury soars, traffic cops sweat out under searing sun

Though junctions have outposts for them, they provide limited cover and most of their duties are out on the streets

HYDERABAD: Though the health department has advised the public not to venture out between 2 pm and 4 pm as the temperature is rising at an alarming speed, the police personnel who control the traffic under the blazing sun have no escape from the scorching heat.

During the eight-hour duty, especially in the morning, traffic police personnel have been encountering numerous issues apart from clearing traffic. Though junctions have outposts for them, they provide limited cover and most of their duties are out on the streets, especially during peak traffic hours and VIP movements.

Maximum temperatures in the city have already crossed 40º Celsuis. SR Nagar traffic police inspector N. Shreya, working with a team at Maitrivanam Junction at Ameerpet, admitted that the job was not easy during summers. She said police worked in two shifts – the first one from 8 am to 2 pm, and the second from 2 pm to 10 pm.

“Every junction has an outpost with a roof for traffic personnel to sit. But we are required to be on the street, especially during peak traffic hours or during VIP movement or catching offenders.”

A traffic constable from the Panjagutta traffic police station, posted at Greenlands Junction at Begumpet, said the amount of time a cop needed to spend on the street depended on which junction it was.

“At some junctions, they have to spend almost the entire time on the street. For example, at the Panjagutta Junction, where right turns for vehicles coming from two directions are not allowed, if a cop is not regulating traffic, it may lead to accidents,” he said. The policemen are shifted to a different junction every month.

The constable added that even the existing outposts provided only limited shade from the sun. Shreya said the GHMC was setting up outposts, modelled on the lines of those in Bengaluru, which provided better shade than the existing ones, and also had a fan within them. However, she said, there was no clarity on when they would be completed.

Traffic police personnel had been provided water and glucose at police stations since March 15, which was a practice followed every summer, said Shreya.

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