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Citizens back traffic sentinel scheme, claims DGP

Panjim: As controversy surrounding the Traffic Sentinel scheme continues and some volunteers face public fury for reporting violations to the police, Director General of Police Muktesh Chander, the brain behind the scheme, has claimed that citizens are writing to the department applauding the scheme.

In one such instance, a Mapusa local has sent a letter of appreciation to the DGP and a cheque of Rs 1,000 to be given to any sentinel as reward. The letter, a copy of which is with Herald states, “I am not a traffic sentinel but want to appreciate you for this scheme, unfortunately looking at the incidents that are coming to light about the law breakers/public misbehaving with the traffic sentinels it seems that what majority is doing is right even though they may be on (the) wrong side of the law and here is where we fall back on our civic sense.”

“I just wanted to appreciate you for the said scheme and in fact it would be great even if other government departments implement such schemes for reporting violations as the case may be. To show my appreciation I am attaching a cheque of Rs 1,000 which you can utilize to give to any sentinel for doing good work or as deemed fit,” the sender, who name cannot be disclosed on request, said further.

DGP Chander has expressed his gratitude to this gesture. Speaking to Herald, he said, “It is a unique way of appreciation the scheme by a citizen. I congratulated him for this rare gesture. Hope other citizens will also come forward for the cause of road safety in Goa.” He asserted that several people have hailed the scheme.

Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavlikar had a week ago informed the Legislative Assembly that they will review the scheme, which was introduced to bring in discipline on the road but has evoked angry reaction from the people. The MLAs cutting across the political line opposed the scheme except for ministers like Vijai Sardesai, Ramkrishna Dhavalikar and Nilesh Cabral. They alleged that the scheme was being misused and its continuation could lead to law and order problem in the State as many people are against it. The police department has been defending the scheme claiming it has reduced fatalities and largely brought discipline on the roads. [H]

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