VIJAYAWADA: In what could be teemed as a good start to the new year, not a single case of drunk driving was reported in Vijayawada on the intervening night of December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021. This is a result of strict enforcement of night curfew in the past few days along with a good presence of police on arterial roads and major streets in the city. Movement of people was restricted on the roads after 11 pm on Thursday. Commissioner of Police Bathini Sreenivasulu, who inspected arrangements, said the intensified enforcement drives and vehicle checks had started on December 25, a whole week before the last day of the year, and it resulted in no drunk driving case being registered.
“With the State government passing orders banning New Year celebrations owing to the pandemic, we formed special teams to control people gathering at one place in the name of parties, meetings and late night celebrations. Preventive measures helped us see through the night without any untoward incidents. The fear of coronavirus also prompted people to become cautious,” Sreenivasulu told TNIE.
He said that the city police have set goals to accomplish in the new year, like curbing cannabis and other sedatives to protect youngsters from falling prey to vices. He said the task force was strengthened in such a way to tackle the cannabis menace along with illegal activities like gambling, food adulteration and drug peddling.
Sreenivasulu said a total of 75 cases of smuggling ganja was filed in the year 2020 and the police seized more than 4,000 kg of cannabis from the peddlers. “Both task force and intelligence departments were strengthened in order to check illegal activities as there is a huge need to identify and bust the network of the accused. We are increasing our strength in intelligence as it would help us obtain information like the mediators supplying the banned drugs and the purchasers,” Sreenivasulu explained, adding that `3 crore worth foreign cigarettes were seized with the help of sources developed at ground level.
The top cop said that the city police are going to implement a unique strategic plan to put an end to smuggling of cannabis. “Besides, we are planning to reach out to people as a part of community policing. Compared to previous years, there is a huge drop in crime rate in 2020. Similarly, we prepared a plan of action to accomplish our goals. Women’s safety and curbing cybercrimes and property offences are our priorities,” the Commissioner concluded.