Kolkata Police have come up with a special team ‘Striking Force’ to combat the longstanding traffic problem and road accidents in the city’s port area.
Heavy containers, many of which ply illegally, claimed several lives and many were left injured in series of accidents in the area.
The three main targets of the striking force are to keep the entire port area traffic free, prosecution of vehicles mainly trucks which ply illegally and finally minimising the number of road accidents.
The move came after a youth was killed after being hit by a truck carrying containers at Khidderpore a month ago. The incident had led to a law and order problem in the area as local people had protested against the police for their failure to stop road accidents in the area.
Most of the important thoroughfares in the area including Khidderpore Road and Circular Garden Reach Road used to remain congested round-the-clock due to illegal parking of heavy trucks.
It had become a difficult task for the police to take action against such vehicles. Many had even fled after hitting pedestrians.
The 11-member team of the Striking Force is comprised of a sub-inspector, two assistant sub-inspectors and eight constables who will work under the direct supervision of the deputy commissioner of the Port Division. The officers and constables in the team are mainly from South West Police Station, West Port Police Station and Special Section Port Division.
The operation had started in the first week of December. The members of the striking force conduct sudden raids and take action against the vehicles which fail to show proper documents or if parked illegally.
In the past 15 days, the team had filed cases against 12 trucks which were using fake registration numbers of Nagaland. All were old vehicles that cannot be plied as per the traffic norms. But the owners of those vehicles started using fake registration numbers of Nagaland and operated the trucks to ferry goods just from one dock to another.
The team also assists the officers of traffic department to maintain a separate lane for trucks and allow buses and other private vehicles to ply easily.
WhatsApp number of the deputy commissioner (Port Division) Sudeep Sarkar was also given to school children in the area.
They can send a message to Sarkar directly if they find traffic congestion.
The school children were also requested to send message if they find poor road condition.
Samiran Panja, a local resident, says the traffic situation has comparatively improved. “Now it takes lesser time to reach the central business district,” he said.