Srinagar: When commuters were stuck up at picturesque Boulevard Road on Sunday for hours, they called Inspector General of Police, Jammu Kashmir Traffic Department Basant Rath for help and the officer didn’t disappoint them either.
A top police officer from Srinagar city said that as the news about the militant killings in Shopian spread in Srinagar, youth pelted stones at many places in old city as a result commuters took Boulevard road to reach world famous Tulip Garden.
“The massive presence of vehicles on Foreshore and Boulevard road created traffic jam, much to the discomfort of the people. People called Basant Rath for help. He arrived at 1:20pm and till 6:45pm managed the traffic affairs himself. I haven’t seen such a high rank officer manning traffic himself. In my police career, I have found IG Basant Rath as first high rank police officer, who holds hand of constable, encourages and appreciates his work and himself mans the traffic. It is really inspirational,” the police officer told this reporter.
People on Sunday were busy in clicking videos of Basant Rath when he was utilizing all his skills to restore traffic on the picturesque Boulevard road. “We will upload these videos on social media once government lifts the ban on internet. He is such an honest, dedicated and hardworking officer,” said a group of young men while on way to Tulip Garden.
Abdul Rehman, an elderly person who was stuck up in the traffic jam told this reporter that it was he who called Basant Rath for help. “I am really grateful to him that he obliged and arrived here to clear the traffic mess,” he said.
He lamented that commuters don’t follow lane driving in Srinagar as a result there are frequent traffic jams.
“Usually officers sit in their cosy offices while their subordinates manage the affairs on roads. But Basant Rath is different. He means business. Even after working at a stretch for six hours braving heat on Boulevard road, he emerged at a couple of different intersections to decongest traffic,” said a constable wishing anonymity.
Basant Rath’s frank assertions on social media have already made him popular among people in Kashmir.