New Delhi: The Delhi traffic police have been given a new responsibility--to clear the capital`s roads of beggars and vagabonds who often pose a traffic hazard.
The Delhi government`s social welfare department will also be involved in this initiative, Joint Commissioner of Police Satyendra Garg said.
"Initially we will only concentrate on select intersections where traffic flow is held up because of beggars as we have limited number of traffic police officials. The social welfare department will detain the beggars and send them to corrective homes," Garg said.
However, traffic experts are sceptical and feel that putting a social problem on the shoulders of the traffic police is not the ideal solution.
"It is very easy to give the responsibility to the traffic police, but we must realise that they are already overburdened. Their work is traffic enforcement and not traffic engineering and traffic management which is a separate area. What the traffic police will do is just shoo them (beggars) away for sometime, which is not the best solution," Rohit Baluja, president of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, a non-profit organisation, said.
Another expert said it was a good move but should go beyond the Commonwealth Games and aim at rehabilitating the beggars and not just treating them as an eyesore.
"This is a good move, but eradicating begging should not just be aimed at the Commonwealth Games, but at improving the living conditions of people in general. The government should rehabilitate them to tackle the problem," said P.K. Sarkar, a professor at School of Planning and Architecture.