South-West Trafc Guard Toils 24×7 Regulates Road And River Traffic

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Presence of a large number of important commercial organizations including Kolkata Port, Headquarters of the South- Eastern Railway, Hindustan Lever, Britannia Industries, Braithwaite, ITC and Coca-Cola make the job of the South West Trafc Guard very crucial for maintaining normal trafc ow primarily because of the plying of large number of heavy vehicles.

Movement of heavy goods and machineries from the port, warehouses, container trafc and the  large  manufacturing companies create huge congestion and blockade of the roads  in the  area,  which  had become  a  major  challenge  for smooth ow of normal trafc in the area. A general estimate suggests that about 10,000 heavy goods vehicles on an average ply in the area daily making things difcult. Parking space is very limited leading to severe congestion. Besides, presence of important commercial organizations, the area is also known for the Mint and the state’s only marine engineering college. There are two bridges, including a swing bridge, located here. Construction of the Joka – BBD Bag Metro and Ramnagar – Majerhat Bridge are currently going on making things more difcult for smooth ow of trafc in the area.

Boundary:

North: Ekbalpur Crossing

South: Taratala

East: Durgapur Bridge(Excluding crossing)

West: Taratala Road and Ramnagar crossing

OFFICERSPEAK: I have taken up the challenge to normalize the trafc movement in this important commercial zone in the city. Teamwork is the key for ensuring success and by that we were able to nd a separate parking lot for the heavy vehicles which has resulted in improving the overall scenario in the trafc ow in the area. Efciency and hard work do play positive roles in the society and we feel good when people appreciate the improved situation. Samir Kumar Panja Ofcer in Charge, South West Trafc Guard

Area Prole: The area is commercially very important because of the presence of Kolkata Port and many other big engineering and manufacturing companies making the region most crucial for steady ow of trafc. Movement of huge commercial cargo particularly the container trafc cause severe road  blockades  which  lead  to regular trafc snarls. This congestion and movement of important commercial trafc had become the cause of major worries for the ofcials of the trafc guard. They however managed to make a breakthrough by nding a new parking space for nearing 350 vehicles which was achieved by holding negotiations with the Kolkata Port Trust  authorities. This has helped reducing congestion and simultaneously solved the parking problem to some extent resulting in the improvement of the trafc ow through the area. Mint is one of the important vital installations in the area. This apart there is Headquarters of South Eastern Railway. Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, CMRI and B P Poddar Hospital are some health and child care institutions. Besides Marine Engineering & Research Institute, a few other educational institutions including Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Vidya Bharati Girls’ High School and Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied  Nutrition are also located in the area.

Challenges: Because of the very important commercial zone, the South – West Trafc Guard deploys special round the clock vigil for ensuring smooth trafc ow particularly in the night hours when large container and other heavy vehicles carry valuable import and export cargoes. This round the clock deployment and patrolling is unique in the area, which has gone a long way to help improve the process of economic growth not only for the area but also for the country. Challenges include dissolving the mayhem when accidents of heavy good vehicles occur. A loaded overturned truck might block a stretch of the road creating trafc snarls, so extra vigilance at night time is essential.

Policing: This is the only trafc guard among 25 in the jurisdiction of Kolkata Police that regulates both road and river trafc. There have been two bridges– Bascule Bridge and Swing Bridge- in this area. The bridge swings when the ships in Kolkata Port unload their shipments. Although it generally happens during the night still sometimes it takes place in the day time. Since the area is adjacent to Port with some factories and warehouses various commercial activities take place round the clock. Thetrafc police have to keep eyes on the situation so that these activities do not hinder trafc movements. This trafc guard has two outposts, one at Taratala and another at Ram Nagar near Garden Reach.

Trivia: Samir Kumar Panja, who is a 1990 batch Sergeant, had joined the South-west trafc Guard in 1993 after training. He had the distinction to serve almost all the trafc guards in the city in different capacities. He was posted as Additional OC of the South Guard in 2010. He held the same position in the Purba Jadavpur Trafc Guard and became the Ofcer-in- Charge in the same ofce in the next year. He was then transferred to Kasba Trafc Guard, followed by Sealdah Trafc Guard, East Trafc Guard and came back to South West Trafc Guard in the current year.

Present Strength:

Inspectors– 3, Sergeants– 27, ASI– 16, Constables– 109, Home Guards– 40, Civic Volunteers– 13.