STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Flexing the money muscle

Already there are norms framed by the police department itself to govern space allocation on police barricades, flex boards on checkposts, outposts, and other installations, but none adheres to them.

Published: 11th November 2019 09:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2019 09:59 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MADURAI: Gold, clothes, and bike taxis scream out of flex boards on police check posts and barricades across the city. All vying for our seconds, time the advertisers want converted into purchases and profit. Squint at them a little longer and you might, if lucky, see a line or two of a traffic awareness message, something meant to save a person's life. What is that message doing in a sea of advertisements or why is there no awareness message at all? One might ask oneself.

It just so happens that there already exists norms framed by the police department itself to govern space allocation on police barricades, flex boards on checkposts, outposts, and other installations, but none adheres to them. This is what the norms say: One third for advertisement; two third for awareness messages. In reality, it is 80 per cent advertisement and 20 per cent awareness message (if any!)

"But if we approach a sponsor with 1:3 ratio of space allocation, none will sponsor a barricade/flex board!" says police sources, adding that they neither have sufficient funds to maintain barricades nor to build/maintain outposts and checkposts structures.

"Structures for outposts/checkposts are built and maintained by sponsors. Monthly maintenance expenses of some checkposts (those with LED displays, and other electronic and electrical equipment) is around `10,000. This is borne by sponsors."

What motorists see?

The entire top portion of many an outpost is covered with banners. "They just do not look like a police outpost at all. It is even harder to figure out which station it belongs to," said Manickam, an autorickshaw driver. Ramesh, a biker from Avaniyapuram, said, "Most barricades are covered with advertisements."

It took Manikkam some time to recollect an awareness message he saw on a barricade. But Manickam seems to have a good memory, for there was not much of a reply from others this reporter met. Many were even surprised to hear that barricades can carry advertisements only on a third of their space. The city commissioner of police was unavailable for comments.

Conceded that the barricades need upkeep and the money comes from the sponsors, but can norms be tailored as per need? Should the police wield the sceptre of justice on certain helmet-less riders or should accountability, much like charity, begin at home?



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

edexworks
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp