With alarm bells ringing about Delhi’s air quality, traffic policemen in the city will soon get protective eye glasses that will shade their eyes from road dust. Delhi traffic police has sent a requirement of around 2,000 such glasses in their first batch, tenders for which will be floated soon, a top official said.
Explaining the need to procure these glasses, special commissioner of traffic, Muktesh Chander, said, “Traffic police personnel spend hours on the road and this makes them especially vulnerable to road dust. Studies have established that road and construction dust contributes to air pollution, which creates problems like eye allergy, especially in the dry heat. These will have covering from the sides and top, to protect their eyes from dust.”
Chander said the glasses can be fitted over routine looking glasses also. “We have tried one sample pair and they seemed like a good idea because they provided instant relief to the eye, and can be fitted over routine glasses,” he said.
The glasses will look like regular sunglasses from the front and will have tinted lenses which will also be UV-protected, officials said. Chander said after the initial phase with 2,000 such glasses, more will be procured for an army of around 5,500 traffic police personnel.
When told about the glasses, a 43-year-old traffic police personnel posted near Connaught Place said, “I hope the new glasses work. We wear routine sunglasses but my eyes start getting red every year around the summers and just before the winters. When I climb stairs, I get breathless.”
Traffic police are also provided with regular surgical masks but they said they do little to protect them against the air. A 54-year-old sub-inspector posted with the traffic police for three years near Mandi House, who has been with the Delhi Police for around 35 years and was wearing a mask, told The Indian Express, “The masks hardly last us a day in the sweat. They are so flimsy that they hardly give any protection from vehicular fumes. I got this mask today and in a couple of hours it is already unwearable.”
He said he has had a cough over the last two years. “My eyes are always red. Doctors have told me it is from the dust and vehicular pollution,” he said.
Earlier this week, in health checks conducted for 160 traffic police personnel for chest and lung diseases, about 25 per cent showed problems in their lung function tests, with symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, chronic cough and trouble with sleeping.
“We are aware that traffic police personnel are vulnerable to some health problems, like anybody else who spends a long time on Delhi roads. These efforts are aimed at trying to address these issues and also spread awareness among them to take protective measures, and conduct periodical checks,” Chander said.