‘We are working to revive a better organization of traffic wardens’ – ACP (Traffic) MA Nataraj
Mangaluru: A voluntary organization, the traffic wardens effectively manage the unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles over the years during peak hours in the city of Mangaluru. Meet Mangaluru’s Citizen Traffic Volunteers, who diligently put forth hours of arduous effort to ensure that overflowing roads, poorly planned infrastructure or public transport limitations offer no impediment to Bengaluru’s growth and don’t stop you completely in your tracks!. And most importantly, they do all the volunteer work completely for free!
Mangaluru is undoubtedly a city of wonders. Despite its infamous traffic, the coastal town and educational center manages to expand with impunity. Almost every minute, traffic stops at such a signal or such a crossroads. But, curiously, the city almost never stops. As the Mangalorean team researched further, we found that the credits went to an entity that was almost invisible among the citizens.
ACP (Traffic) MA Nataraj
In the dark lanes crowded with two-wheelers on a Monday morning or any other busy day of the week or an unmanned signal at one of the city’s central junctions, you’ll find them working diligently to clear the way. From Francis Maxim Moras, 59-year-old traffic officer, single-handedly managing dangerous traffic near Padua Junction, to Roshan Roy Sequeira, 32, managing traffic near CV Nayak Hall/Kadri Kambla Junction, passing by Sandeep Veigas, 40. , managing traffic near Kanara Club / Abharan Junction, both doing it on their own – Mangaluru’s true traffic heroes rarely wear capes.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar believes that “the police cannot always be everywhere. Also, the main task of traffic police personnel is to ensure traffic safety. They’re no wizards at magically untangling traffic blockages when other factors such as road width and public awareness aren’t conducive. He says there is an active need to involve citizens in traffic regulation, enforcement and road safety measures. The cooperation of citizens contributes to the optimal use of available resources to manage traffic effectively and efficiently. »
TWO Senior Traffic Director Francis Maxim Moras
The main organization that deserves commendable mention is the Traffic Warden Organization (TWO), which has been in existence for seven years and currently has only 10-15 volunteer/members. Concerned citizens perform voluntary tasks as trained traffic officers, obligatory devoting many hours, mornings and evenings each month to managing the city’s traffic. People aged 18 and over can join the traffic warden service, regardless of gender or professional qualification. Their selfless participation over the years has helped Mangaluru survive its traffic jams, roadblocks and increased traffic load on the roads.
TWO traffic officer Roshan Roy Sequeira
“There are too many people behind the scenes keeping Mangaluru moving,” says Francis Maxim Moras, a senior traffic policeman, who has received numerous accolades, awards, as well as the DK Rajyotsava award. A loving and caring husband and father of two daughters, has established himself as one of the most dynamic and hardworking traffic volunteers in the entire city. He officially joined the Traffic Warden Organization in 2015 and since then he has been doing a great job as a traffic warden. A few years ago, while taking school children in his van to their respective schools, Maxim spotted several students struggling to cross the road. Some of them even encountered accidents due to the insensitivity of the drivers. He decided to help these children cross the road every day after school.
TWO traffic cop Sandeep Goveas
While helping them cross the road safely, Maxim also discovered his secret talent for managing traffic efficiently and realized how much he enjoyed the activity. That’s when he decided to get formal training to become a traffic officer and he’s been doing an amazing job ever since. You can see him dressed in the pristine white traffic warden uniform, with a navy blue scout hat, near Padua Junction and for a short time near St Theresa’s School, Bendorewell, Mangaluru.
These traffic cops amid honking, pollution and scorching heat, all do their “duty” diligently for hours a day. However, the best part of their job is that they don’t take a single penny and do everything entirely out of pure passion. They believe that the main initiative should come from the drivers themselves. “I think the inherent attitude of people on the road needs a radical change. You obey the traffic rules when you see a policeman, and a few meters later you’re back to square one – driving recklessly and create a nuisance to others. This should not be the case. Fear of the police or penalties should not be your motivation for maintaining road discipline. It is not too difficult to avoid overtaking, breaking traffic lights, honking the horn unnecessarily or blaming the authorities for all the threat,” Roshan Sequeira, a TWO volunteer, affirms his opinion on the main causes of traffic jams in Mangaluru.
Sureshnath ML (left in photo) will be the head of TWO in Mangaluru
It is good to note that Mangaluru City Traffic Police is ready to revamp the traffic warden system and relaunch it as Mangaluru City Police – Traffic Warden Organization (TWO) modeled after the ‘Bengaluru City Police Traffic Officers Organization. City police have identified Sureshnath ML, a retired professor from St Aloysius College, as the head of TWO. He also served the senior division of CNC for 15 years. He retired with the rank of squadron leader. He was also Director of Human Resource Development at St. Aloysius College and a consultant to various colleges. It is learned that Sureshnath has set a goal of recruiting at least 100 traffic cops for the city. It is a voluntary organization and no remuneration is paid even for the sewing of the uniform or the purchase of the cap and the belt.
The Traffic Warden Squad was formed in 2015. Bengaluru TWO has managed to attract people from all walks of life. The official launch of Mangaluru TWO is expected to take place by the end of the month. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) MA Nataraj speaking to the Mangalorean team said: “We are working on the revival of TWO. Sureshnath will travel to Bengaluru to study and understand how the system works there, and will accordingly establish rules, regulations and guidelines for the keepers to follow. The guidelines, including the selection process, will now be strictly followed. Once selected, the volunteers will be trained (theory and practice), and will assist traffic officers at important points, especially during rush hours”.
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