And now, a toolkit to help Bengaluru Traffic Police better tackle monsoon mayhem

Toolkit will help Bengaluru Traffic Police address monsoon-related crises even before civic authorities arrive on the scene.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Jun 02, 2023 | 10:46 AMUpdatedJun 02, 2023 | 10:46 AM

Bengaluru traffic police toolkit

Filling potholes for smooth traffic movement to pruning trees for better visibility of signage boards — these are standard operating procedures for Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) ahead of the monsoons.

Now, they are going one step further when it comes to monsoon-preparedness.

Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) MA Saleem, just days before he was promoted to head the CID in Karnataka, outlined a plan for the BTP personnel.

He also and conceived and provided each of the Traffic Police Stations in the city with something that will help them when the monsoon unleashes its fury — a specialised toolkit.

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What the toolkit comprises

Each toolkit has a fuel-operated petrol chainsaw, a handsaw, thick ropes, a spade, a shovel, machettes, buckets, and nylon belts with hooks, among other essentials required in a monsoon-related emergency.

The toolkit is so designed that it can be carried inside a police inspector’s jeep and would help the traffic police begin immediate clearing work, well before civic workers of the Br̥uhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or Forest Cell personnel or the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) reach the trouble spot.

Training policemen to cut trees and branches

Training policemen to cut trees and branches

The BTP has already imparted training to all traffic policemen on how to use these tools and when.

The fuel-operated chainsaw would help the BTP men to quickly cut short branches of fallen trees that are blocking a road. The thick ropes and nylon belts with hooks are meant for towing or pulling out vehicles that are stuck in mud or drains, or vehicles that have fallen into caved-in roads.

There is also a tool for clearing any blockage in a stormwater drain so that the rainwater flows off the roads.

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How the toolkits can help

Training given to how to use the fuel-operated chain saw

Training given to how to use the fuel-operated chain saw

South First reached out to some traffic policemen in Bengaluru to find out what they thought of the new toolkit and how useful it might be in handling monsoon-related crises.

One policeman, who did not want to be named, recalled an instance when he was on duty on Bellandur Lake road, where a new bridge is being constructed and the temporary road meant for movement of vehicles collapsed in the recent heavy rains.

This stretch of road, from Bellandur to Yemalur, lies behind the Sakra Hospital and a lot of techies use it to commute from Domlur towards Bellandur.

The policeman had called up the civic authority (BBMP) and informed about the road collapse. They had to bring in an earthmover to set right the temporary road, but as it was raining, they told the cops they were busy elsewhere.

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The policemen and his fellow colleague had to block the road for traffic movement, as this was the exact point where the Bellandur lake breached last time, flooding the entire area, and it was dangerous to allow anyone to cross the collapsed stretch.

So yes, the toolkit could have helped them start the clearing process.

Training given to Bengaluru Traffic Police for using the Tool-Kit

Training given to Bengaluru Traffic Police for using the Tool-Kit

“Of course, we would not be able to rectify larger issues like a road collapse, but we could certainly pitch in as a quick-response team when we reach a spot where a tree has fallen, or there is water-logging, or a vehicle is stuck — anything that blocks the traffic,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) West Division Dr Suman D Pennekar told South First when told about the Bellandur crisis.

“Our men have been trained to use these tools and they would start their clearing work and continue until the civic authorities arrive and take charge of the operations,” Pennekar added.

Cost of the toolkit

Each toolkit issued to the traffic police station costs around ₹25,000, and after the training that has been imparted to the policemen, the BTP is confident that they are now armed with the tools and equipment required to at least start clearing blockages affecting the flow of traffic — till help arrives.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) MN Anucheth said told South First that the tool-kit with basic equipment have been issued to all the 48 Traffic Police Stations in the city and are ready for use.

“We hope to clear at least what we can so as to allow the movement of traffic until the civic authorities arrive with bigger machineries like earthmovers or cranes.

“Now our men can clear, to an extent, tree falls or blocked drains, and restore traffic flow,” Anucheth said.