If you saw any traffic cops in an all-Khaki uniform - as opposed to the usual white-and-khaki - around Marine Drive yesterday, it's because the Mumbai traffic police have taken on the task of tutoring traffic cops from Uttar Pradesh. A delegation of 14 senior policemen has been sent to the city by the UP government to familiarise themselves in tackling intense traffic buzz.
These officers, each of whom has spent nearly 20 years in service, will undergo a 15-day training programme to learn how to manage congested roads, snarls and driving offenders. The training sessions, which started on May 14, are being conducted both in the classroom and on the field.
A city traffic officer on condition of anonymity said that this initiative has been taken to make them understand the kind of pressing work the Mumbai traffic cops do. "These are senior officers from UP. They will in turn train their subordinates after returning," he said.
The cops come from different districts like Lucknow, Sitapur, Rae Bareili, Barabanki, Azamgad and Allahabad. In the last two days, they have been instructed in various rules and regulations under the law, apart from the daily dose of routines at the Byculla Traffic Institute.
"We are trying to learn different aspects of the traffic movement in a city like Mumbai. We will then educate our constabulary staff back there," said Mahmood Ali, traffic inspector from Lucknow.
Another inspector who didn't want to be named said, "The body language and manner of talking to people taught to policemen here is very polite. We will try to teach the same." They are also being exposed to the drives against drunk driving carried out on weekends across the city and suburbs.
In their stay so far, these policemen were asked to 'watch and learn' the ways of handling traffic movements in a congested city with a vehicular population of over 19 lakh.
In the coming days, they will be instructed on subjects like driving licences and traffic-related Acts and issues. Senior traffic cops from Mumbai said, "They were taken to areas like Mahalaxmi and Haji Ali to monitor the traffic movements during the visit of the Maldives Prime Minister to Mumbai."
"They are here for a period of 15 days and will be trained at the Byculla training institute," said Namdeo Chavan, DCP (Traffic).