BHADRAK: Come summer and the traffic police and Home Guards bear the brunt of the scorching heat. The early onset of summer has only aggravated their problems this year.
While people going out to work prefer to leave home early to reach the safe confines of office before the sun starts hitting hard, the traffic personnel have no choice. The situation is worse for them as they endure heat as well as dust from morning till night.
Though measures have been taken to prevent labourers from working in the open from 11 am to 3 pm, no visible steps have been taken by the Government for traffic police and Home Guards.
In Bhadrak town, lack of traffic shelters has forced them to stand in the open to regulate traffic.
They are deprived of minimum facilities and refreshments to protect them from sunstroke. According to sources, over 10 Home Guards and 19 traffic personnel, including two Havildars, are posted at eight junctions to control the traffic. They tolerate the intense heat of summer or rain in monsoon for a paltry income.
Even as the temperature in the town crossed 42 degree Celsius, the traffic personnel were seen performing their jobs in the open.
On the other hand, uniforms, which are made of a combination material, cause health problems like allergies.
A traffic policeman expressed anguish over the failure of the Home Department to protect them from heat. “Sometimes, I feel exhausted and breathless. I have to take water every hour. Due to khaki uniform, I suffer from allergy,” said a Home Guard refusing to be identified.
Other Home Guards and traffic police also echoed the same feelings. They have not been provided gloves and sunglasses while refreshment is a dream for them.
Due to the apathy of the Government, every year traffic constables and home guards suffer from sunstroke. Last year, three traffic constables, including a woman, had to be hospitalised after they complained of suffocation on duty.
Other issues that they face are lack of minimum infrastructure. They have not been provided a hand-stop, lines have not been demarcated for the vehicles to halt, no zebra crossing and no traffic lights. These act as challenges in regulating the traffic.
The traffic police also face the wrath of unruly riders in absence of a specific parking zone. Some time back, a councillor allegedly assaulted a traffic constable as the latter opposed the councillor to park his vehicle.
“Our difficulties turn to sufferings during summer, there is no respite from it since last some decades,” said a Home Guard, requesting anonymity.
ASP Ashit Mohanty said infrastructure of traffic control system is the look out of Municipality and district administration.