Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, May 2: The Traffic Warden Squad made a beginning under the leadership of Joe Gonsalves, a nonagenarian resident of Mangaluru city, on October 2, 2015. Since its inception, the officer members of the Squad have made every effort to improve the traffic situation in the city. It is a common and interesting sight to watch people from different walks of life in their elegant khaki uniforms contributing their best to regulate the traffic at places like Bendorewell, Kankanady junction, Hampankatta, Nanthoor, and Pumpwell. Their emphasis is on educating the public to ensure that two-wheeler drivers wear their helmets and four-wheeler drivers wear seat belts. Developmental works like footpaths, drainage and concreting being undertaken in the city have added to the hassle. With a steep rise in the number of vehicles in the city it has become increasingly important to strictly observe traffic rules and thus avoid accidents and accidental deaths.
Very often there is a tendency on the part of the public to blame the traffic department for the inconvenience caused. However, most people openly break rules and regulations that are essentially imposed for their safety and convenience. Against the backdrop of the recent tragic accident on the Nanthoor-Kadri road, it is time for people to abide by the law – it is never too late to make a beginning. Getting rid of the 'me-first' attitude can save many lives in the city. The sad part of the story is that many young lives – on whom the nation has pinned its hopes – are lost or permanently disabled in this mad rush to reach their destination as quickly as possible.
Mangaluru city has grown in various areas during the past few decades. With positive aspects there are negatives too, both of these are like two faces of the same coin. With the amount of growth and development, there has been a steep increase in the population in the city and a relative increase in the number of vehicles too. The traffic situation in the city is worsening with each passing day and the district administration and the traffic police are doing their best to find a permanent solution. Again the roads that were built one hundred and fifty years ago cannot contain the traffic which has grown in phenomenal dimensions.
Several attempts have been made to circumvent the prevailing situation. Barricades have been put up at some places and some roads have been turned into one-way. Presently the police department is facing shortage of staff and therefore the Traffic Warden Squad has come as a big relief. The presence of traffic wardens is very much felt in the city. Officer wardens like Roshan Patrao, James Madtha, Francis Moras, Deenath D’Sa, Nelson Pereira, Oswald D’Cunha and J Mohammed are rendering yeomen service to the city. In addition there are about 27 student wardens from different colleges like St Agnes College, Milagres College and St Jospeh's College working under the direction of the officer wardens.
Speaking to daijiworld, Joe Gonsalves said, "It is necessary that problems created by the public are solved by the public. With this concept in mind we have been able to achieve considerable amount of success during the past few months. However, it is expedient that the officer force is enhanced to at least twenty when undoubtedly the presence of the Squad will be felt very tangibly. Traffic Warden Squad which commenced its operations in Bengaluru over thirty years ago has about 750 wardens. It has been only a few months since we commenced our operations and if we have the necessary support from the public, it would be possible for us to do a formidable job. We need public support and look forward to the cooperation of well meaning members of the public to come forward and lend their time for the squad to move forward.
"I join the department of law and order in appealing to the citizens of Mangaluru to come forward and join hands with us to highlight the concept of 'Drive safe - Save lives'," he added.
Speaking to daijiworld, Mangaluru police commissioner Chandra Sekhar said, "There are three main aspects why we need traffic wardens. One, traffic has more to do with everyone. It affects everyone in their day-to-day life. So some of the problem faced will be better understood by public than the traffic police. As they face it everyday in a particular area or place, they can give better solutions.
"Second, there is another issue here, and that is involvement of public. If a traffic warden says wearing helmet is good, public takes it positively. When a policeman tries to say the same, it becomes enforcement. By human nature we do not like someone enforcing something on us, whether it is for our own good or not is another issue. So through traffic wardens we will be able to convey our ideas of traffic regulation and traffic safety. This is another idea to convey our message to the public. Third, of course, is the shortage of personnel we are facing. So I urge more public participation in regulating the traffic and solving the traffic problem in the city," he said.
Officer wardens Roshan Patrao and James Madtha fully endorse the view that the public should come forward participate in this crucial task. They joined Joe Gonsalves' chorus and appealed to the people of Mangaluru to come forward and lend the Traffic Squad a helping hand.
Citizens interested in joining the Squad can contact:
Uday Nayak, assistant commissioner of police (traffic) - 9480802312
Roshan Patrao - 9880194908
James Madtha - 9448125695 / 9464725695
J Mohammed - 9008516070
Deenath D'Sa - 9844040056
Nelson Pereira - 9900901754
Maxim Moras - 9845878030
Oswald D'Cunha - 9845302742