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The Rediff Interview/Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul
February 03, 2004
Dr Krishan Kant Paul, an officer of the 1970 Indian Police Service batch, took over as Delhi's police commissioner on Saturday, January 31. Dr Paul led the Delhi police contingent at the 1973 Republic Day parade. He earned praise for traffic arrangements made for the 7th Non Aligned Meeting and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 1983, when he was deputy commissioner of police in charge of traffic. He was also one of the officers assigned to the Indira Gandhi assassination case.
In an interview with Chief Correspondent Onkar Singh soon after taking charge, Dr Paul felt traffic management along with law and order would be the biggest challenges confronting him and his colleagues.
Dr Paul, Delhi traffic literally crawls these days. How do you propose to meet this challenge?
There are two types of solutions. One, engineering solutions, the other traffic management solutions -- that is through regulation of traffic and other measures which are in the realm of traffic management. In Delhi, as of now there has been an emphasis on engineering-related traffic management solutions. A number of overbridges have come up in the city at various places which have helped in smooth movement of traffic. Construction activities have helped to some extent. Our biggest problem in the capital is the dispropotionate growth of traffic and vehicles.
When all the segments of the Delhi Metro Railway become fully operational only then perhaps will some of the load be taken off Delhi roads. Till then we would have to implement cost-effective solutions and regulatory methods. We would have to resort to them for effective and smooth flow of traffic. Engineering and regulatory solutions have to go hand in hand. We also have to enlarge the area of traffic control systems which is at present connected to 39 or 40 traffic junctions. Certain areas of South Delhi need to be brought under that. These junctions would have to be integrated to ensure unrestricted movement of traffic.
Delhi has been a target of terrorist attacks. How do you propose to meet this challenge?
We have to maintain a very high degree of alert. We have to ensure adequate coordination with neighbouring states. The intelligence agencies have to provide us with vital inputs from time to time. A lot of action goes on in order to contain such activities. The Delhi police has been able to develop expertise in this area. We should be able to ensure that Delhi remains free from such activities.
There is criticism that the Delhi police is top heavy and you need to balance it with more men at the lower levels. Do you agree?
The criticism that the Delhi police is top heavy is totally unfounded and uncalled for. The Delhi police has a workforce of 60,000 officers and men. We need to have more manpower to meet the growing demand and workload. Delhi's population is growing at a rapid rate. Hence, we need more men.
Which are the other areas you would like to work on?
We are going to give top priority to crimes against women. Lot of suggestions have been received and implemented and others will be implemented soon.
We would like to assure senior citizens that we are here to give them a sense of security.
Our top priority would be maintainance of law and order and crime control. We would like to reintroduce community policing.
What kind of police force do you want to lead?
I lead one of the best police forces in the country. Delhi being the national capital, the expectations of the people are very high.
We have to continously strive for excellence and move towards perfection.
I am targeting at making the Delhi police one of the top most forces by 2010.
What is Dr K K Paul like as a person? What books does a police commissioner read?
Dr Paul's life is an open book. Most of the journalists, including you, know what am I like a person. As far as reading books is concerned which commissioner of police has got time to do that? The workload of a Delhi police commissioner does not give you an opportunity to read books. Most of Delhi's police officers do not get enough time to pursue their hobbies. We all do whatever we can within the constraints of time and work.
Photograph: Sondeep Shankar/ Saab Press
Image: Uday Kuckian