“Where there is a will, there is a way & that’s Basant Rath way”


CJ Report: Rakesh Jalali

I would amend an old proverb as, “Where there is a will, there is a way & that’s Basant Rath way”.

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Never heard before, traffic police putting a check on the municipal violations in all parts of the state,  district wise such as municipal violations in markets, bazaars & civilian vicinities of the entire state. Here is a live example of it,  in Jammu, where an IPS officer, Basant Rath, who recently was appointed as IG Traffic j&k, has acted very tough on municipal violations…..has these days become the talk of the town.

The officer is in full swing, before taking over the charge of IG traffic,  presumably had sought permission from the Govt that he would perform his duties in civil uniform. Some critics say that he is Singham of a popular Indian movie & some critics match his style of working with Salman Khan of Dhabang. But in the real sense, he is a first police officer in the history of j&k traffic police, who has done a commendable job,  which no other traffic police officer could have done in past.

I may recall those old days, when his Excellency,  Governor of j&k state Jagmohan during his stint as governor had constructed some beautiful passenger sheds in entire j & k, but all those passenger sheds became dis-functional with a passage of time, bcoz of their non utilisation by public as well as transport system & off late had become the night shelters for beggars & street dwellers,…, were giving a deserted look.

Thanks, Basant Rath again for making functional these passenger sheds (bus stops)  after a gap of approximately 33 years.
So strange, has the scenario become…in a most disciplined manner, would U now, find bus drivers to pick & drop passengers at these old but newly earmarked passenger sheds. Most surprisingly, you may now,  find people in a most disciplined manner crossing over to the other side of the road on Zebra crossings, which otherwise had become the death trap bcoz of unruly transport system & also due to the casual approach of the public.
He (Basant Rath) has also become a blessing in disguise for those govt agencies, which otherwise,  could not perform well,  even within their own domain of work.
JMC is such a live example, which couldn’t put a check vis-a-vis illegal construction, violations  & unauthorised encroachments of Govt property,  within or outside the municipal limits…is now done by this super cop these days. The shopkeepers in most of the markets & bazaars,  as a matter of routine,  had forcefully been placing their apparel’s & other apparatus, displayed on the footpaths, which are otherwise meant for the smooth public movement. When the paths & walkways are hindered by such obstacles, with obvious reasons, the public would walk on the roadside….thus causing traffic hazards for the smooth movement of vehicular traffic on the roadside.

Most surprising is a thing to notice that some Petrol pumps were also violating municipal norms by placing permanently, their air filling stations (Machines) out of the line of demarcation (on Govt land),  thus again creating a hassle on the roadside. Even some Petrol pumps in the posh areas of Jammu had provided two air filling stations in parallel directions, by encroaching some Govt land in violations of municipal norms…which may ultimately create hurdles for smooth flow of traffic.

A few days back, one most interesting thing came to our notice, “said some known people,  astonishingly that only one air filling machine was in service, whereas, another was uprooted from the site…this could be measured as a Basant Rath impact. The job which couldn’t be carried out by municipal authorities all those past decades is now being done by Mr. Dynamic

On all city main roads, Galli & mohalla, nook & corners & hidden streets…flow of traffic & parking of vehicles have been streamlined in such a beautiful manner….it gives a feeling that we are really living in a civilised society, also gives an impression as if,  some VIP movement is there’.  He has removed all the bottlenecks in most parts of the City & their surroundings..!!

In most of the public places, people are heard whispering, which suitable name, should he, be given??  Should you call him  Mr omnipresent or Mr. Dynamic..but he has surpassed all these names…

Few political leaders have these days become so unhappy with his style of working, with the result,  shouting slogans against him, to please some business communities … but they perhaps are unaware of the violations done by those traders & shopkeepers.

These handful of political leaders are perhaps not aware of the public mood in general & by shouting slogans against an officer, who has changed the traffic scenario of this state so drastically, may even tarnish their (Political leaders) image in public,  because of the fact,  he has already won over the hearts of public considerably.

He (Basant Rath) has become the talk of the town these days,  with words of praise for him, flow in public places & all social gatherings, …chanting of his praises echo in atmosphere everywhere.

No doubt, there has been some amount of resentment too, brewing up against him in some circles, especially youth…levelling  charges against him, the charges of misbehaviour & physical assault….but the fear psychosis among the youth is so high that almost all the bike riders have taken off their ear deafening sound silencers from their “Royal Enfield” motorcycles & put back in place,  the original company fitted ones.’

It may further be added that there has been a sharp decline in the sale of ear-deafening silencers these days.

But despite all such uncouth & unpleasant remarks alleged to have been uttered by the officer, a majority of the people still take his style of working in right perspective as the change is now visible on the ground.

As per the unofficial estimate, there have been some four to five hundred commercial/domestic vehicles off the road, these days, because of their invalid documents/registration.
Much has been done but a lot more is required to be done to achieve the desired goal in streamlining the overall traffic system of our state, which otherwise, seems to be dying down.