The detriorating air quality in the capital has hit Delhi Traffic Police personnel hard, with many of them complaining of respiratory problems.
Amid the crisis, at least 500 traffic personnel underwent a health check-up — held in collaboration with the B L Kapoor Hospital, Park Hospital and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research — at the traffic police headquarters in Todapur Monday.
This is part of the Delhi Traffic Police initiative to make all its 5,700 personnel undergo lung function test and bone density test, besides basic tests to check blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and eyesight. While flagging off the initiative, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Dependra Pathak said the camps will be held for three days at each of the 14 districts.
Doctors told The Indian Express that the deteriorating air condition is exposing the traffic police — already hassled with their stressful lifestyle — to respiratory problems.
Dr Sunny Kalra, consultant, Department of Respiratory Medicine at BLK Hospital, said, “Many of the traffic personnel complained of throat irritation while breathing. The long duty hours cause stress, and many of them take to alcohol and cigarettes to unwind. Now the bad air quality has aggravated their symptoms.”
Kalra said that three of the personnel were found to be severely affected with lung congestion. “They smoke too. I have prescribed them medicines for five days but have advised them to treat their problem in a more permanent manner,” Kalra said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Garima Bhatnagar said, “Of the 516 personnel who underwent the tests, 80 complained of cough. Some were found to be with low bone density, hypertension and diabetes. The final figures will emerge on Wednesday.”
Bhatnagar said that following a Supreme Court order, the department had increased the duty of the traffic personnel before Diwali. “They were deployed at borders to prevent entry of trucks. They were affected the most during that period. Hence we decided to conduct the health camps,” she said. Constable Uppal Kumar, who is posted with the traffic unit and turned up for the camp, said he has been “suffering from respiratory problems of late”, and hoped the camp would help solve that.