Newly appointed Commissioner of police Satyapal Singh has certainly got his tenure off to a lousy start.
During a meeting where he outlined his agenda for Pune, one of his ideas was to ban the use of head scarves, mostly used by women to protect their face from the heat and pollution, which according to Satyapal, makes them look like terrorists. He also plans to enforce usage of helmets. While the latter makes sense from the safety angle, the former shows he is completely out of sync with road and traffic conditions along with pollution levels in Pune. Things were probably different at Nagpur, where he imposed the same rules.
He first needs to put in place a mechanism to get all polluting vehicles off the road till they are ‘actually’ PUC (Pollution Under Control) compliant. Simply issuing a PUC certificate is of no use, and the larger / heavier the vehicle, the more muck it belches out, causing tremendous suffering to two wheeler riders that have the misfortune to be following it. Almost all trucks and PMC buses fall in this category. Wearing a helmet in such cases also, although safe, causes a suffocating feeling, whereas a scarf / cloth acts as a filter and protects the skin as well.
Secondly, there is always some or the other road work going on, which means badly dug up, narrow, congested roads, a pile of rubbish stacked up on one side and dust flying all around. Planning these digging activities in a systematic manner of course, is beyond the simple minds of our civic body members, so the only option is to grin and bear it, regardless if your vehicle is a two / four wheeler.
The best thing would be for the Commissioner to visit these parts of the city on a two wheeler (without his chamchas), so he could actually get a first-hand experience of the ‘thrills’ of riding a two wheeler in Pune !!