SSP (Traffic) Shashank Anand, a 2006 batch IPS officer, tells Saurabh Prashar drunken driving menace is the prime reason behind the increase in lawlessness:
Why the sudden new rigorous campaign against drunken driving now?
UT traffic police has always taken a tough stand against drunken driving in Chandigarh. But yes, the drive was made rigorous in the last couple of months. There are certain valid reasons for this. We observed that drunken driving menace is the prime reason behind the increase in lawlessness, bloody assaults and even sexual assaults on women in Chandigarh. Since the challan drive was made stricter, there has been a fall in the number of drunken brawls and other crimes.
You claim that challan drive will curb the drunken driving menace in Chandigarh. Contrary to it, the challan figures are increasing. Your response?
Yes, you are right. The graph of drunken driving challans is increasing. Contrary to it, the number of challans for other traffic offences has fallen. This is the reason, we have started simultaneous awareness drives against drunken driving in colleges and other institutes.
Do you believe that only challans can curb the drunken driving menace?
Look, issuing the challans for traffic offences is just one aspect of traffic policing. Spreading awareness is also a duty of traffic police. In this regard, I personally visit one educational institute every week for motivating the students to follow traffic rules and avoid drunken driving. Merely issusing challans cannot curb this problem. Awareness is a must.
Chandigarh traffic police is often accused of highhandedness and causing inconvenience to general public in the form of nakas on busy roads that only cause traffic jams. Why do you do this?
We accepted this criticism and started changing the locations of nakas randomly. We agree that sometimes traffic police nakas cause traffic jams but general public is also responsible for it to some extent. We need cooperation of general public for making anti-drunken drive successful. Most of the people tested positive for drunken driving at nakas always create scenes.