New Delhi: In a first, a group of 80 civilian volunteers will help the city police here in maintaining law and order this Diwali in central Delhi's busy Sadar Bazar, the larget market of crackers and other decorative items in the national capital.
The volunteers called "police dost" will serve as force multipliers also act as eyes and ears of the police to ensure fool-proof security.
This year, police has asked every shop owner to deploy one volunteer at their shop who are assisting them in traffic management, things like proper parking of cars, maintaining orderliness and keeping an eye on any suspect activity.
The volunteers have been given a uniform as well so that they can be easily identified.
There are 80 such 'police dost' working in Sadar Bazar in tandem with 100 police personnel.
"They are our force multipliers and will also act as eyes and ears of the police. Our main aim is to ensure minimum inconvenience to the people visiting Sadar Bazar in the festive season and to provide safety and security to them," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Madhur Verma, said.
Not just Delhiites, but people from neighbouring states also throng the market which has around 10 permanent and 70 temporary -- which have to get licence every year -- wholesale cracker shops.
"Deals worth crores are done every day here and in the run up to the festival, the market is absolutely jam packed," said a police official.
The presence of large quantity of explosives in the form of crackers and a huge gathering makes things really difficult for police as safety remains a major concern.
Police has also issued several directives shop owners which include keeping sufficient number of sand bags at their shops, a water tank of large capacity along with fire extinguishers.
Shopkeepers can stock only 500 kg of fire crackers at their shops which should be on the ground floor and they should have independent exit and entry gates.