Nityanand Pandey & Purvaja
Amitesh Kumar is a 1995 batch IPS officer. He was born in Patna. He holds degrees in Economics from Delhi’s St Stephen’s College. He has also done post-graduation in Law and Cyber Law. Kumar has undertaken crucial assignments while being the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nagpur and Mumbai, Superintendent of Police (Aurangabad, rural), Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS), and Special Inspector General (Aurangabad range) and Commisioner of Police in Aurangabad. Besides, he has also received the President’s Police Medal for meritorious service and for outstanding achievements in the field of professional policing. In an exclusive Interview with India Unbound Magazine, he shared his experience at various postings and his duties as Joint CP Traffic, Mumbai.
Please tell us about your childhood days and family background?
I was born In Patna, Bihar and completed my initial education over there. Subsequently I moved to Delhi for my higher school education. I did my 10th and 12th from Delhi Public School and I did my Graduation from St. Stephen’s College. After then I did my LLB course. Joining Civil services was my childhood dream and I started preparing for it during my graduation and cracked it in my first attempt.
What are your memories of 1995 batch? Do you still meet your batchmates?
Yes, we do, initially all IPS and IAS officer were trained together in Mussorie. We have a whatsapp exclusive group which helps us to stay in touch with each other on a regular basis.
Kindly elaborate your achievements so far in various postings?
I have been posted all across Maharashtra. I have been DCP of two cities and SP of four districts and police commissioner of various places and I am very fond of all my positions and postings. The best part is that the people and the police men still remembers me and I am still in touch with many of them.
Kindly elaborate the most challenging case in your career so far?
There are series of challenges I have come across and it would be difficult to enlist them. However, the stint in anti-terrorism squad in Mumbai was probably the most challenging because there were loads of sensational cases I dealt with.
What is your experience during the time of Aurangabad?
Aurangabad is a middle-class city but the communal situation over there is very sensitive. But I am happy that with the tough police team and with people cooperation and public participation we brought upon a positive impact on such situations. We had also organised the Maharashtra State police games at Aurangabad in January this year which won accolades from all quarters.
In what manner do you see this opportunity in your career as joint commissioner of Mumbai’s traffic police?
Mumbai’s traffic is a very challenging job that faces Mumbai city police and now it’s more tough as metro work is in full swing. In the monsoon season especialy, the basic challenge would be to ensure that there are no traffic jams and there’s a reduction in fatal accidents and we want the commuting time for people to reduce. So, that will be our target and challenge towards Mumbai traffic.
Mumbai is a global financial hub and island city with limited area, peak time traffic is worst. What are your plans to smooth functioning of traffic in peak hours?
Basically, it is to clear the unauthorised parking and to synchronize the signal so that minimum bottlenecks are caused. However, because of metro work which is taking 20% of carriage ways especially, on the western express highway and is not going to be available to commuters so certainly the challenge will be bigger. So, I will only say that it’s a temporary phase and once the metro comes in, it will transform Mumbai and travelling will be easier for commuters. In such a case, I would ask the commuters to be tolerant on this phase. I assure them that from our side that we will do all possible things to smoothen traffic.
According to you what is the ratio of public discipline towards traffic rules in Mumbai?
I would not like to say that it is very bad but, certainly it is much less than what is desirable. But, over a period of time it’s on a betterment trend and improving day by day.
According to you what challenges are been faced by Mumbai traffic police?
Challenges are many, one must realize that, it’s not easy for a traffic cop standing on streets and enforcing traffic rules and discipline on people specially when they are not discipline. So, it’s a tough job doing it by standing on streets for long hours but, I would say despite of those problems our men are working hard.
Now days if anyone is caught in the camera while breaking the traffic rule, challan is sent to the registered address, is it implemented properly?
Yes, it is implemented properly and we are gaining pretty much success in it. And I am sure this will improve in the days to come.
What are your expectations from CM Fadnavis for police department?
The government has already done a lot to strengthen the City Police and is continuing to do so. And once the metro comes in, the load of the traffic police is going to reduce. So, we are here to facilitate the quick completion of Metro and other infraductive project.
CM Devendra Fadnavis dream project Mumbai Metro work is going on in full zoom, due to metro work, traffic congestion is worst on western express highway and linking road, how difficult is to manage more than 50lakhs of public, travellers on the same route?
Yeah it is difficult and we have tough time managing it. But, we are here to facilitate the metro work and that’s how I appeal to people that they have to be more tolerant. It’s a temporary phenomenon and have to face for more four years and surely traffic scenarios will change till 2019-20.
Is there any alternate solution in your mind to advice government for smooth functioning of metro work and traffic both?
No, I think all possible instruments are being adopted and they are doing it in a very fast and professional manner.
Mumbai is a financial hub of the country, always on target of terrorist attack, after 26/11, whether we are well equipped to face such incidents in future?
Yeah, actually we are in a better phase than we were in 2008.
Mumbai is one of the most populated cities in the world; managing traffic rules in such city is surely not an easy task. How do you manage?
I have just recently joined the Mumbai traffic department and I am looking at challenges and issues faced by the traffic police officers and the men are really professional and we have very good trained man power. We take a lot of opinions from experts for proper traffic management.
What are your future aspirations?
Being in a bureaucrat you cannot have future aspiration. Our only goal is to meet the aspirations of people in a professional manner and develop more positive image of police in front of people. That’s the only aspiration I have.
Who are your role models?
Basically, my role models are my parents. I actually admire them and aspire myself to follow their footsteps.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I basically exercise and play games like lawn tennis and golf.
What suggestions, advice would you like to give to new students who aspire to become IPS or IAS?
I would say that the most important thing is to minutely go through newspapers and read English magazines as this is the only way to get through all the Current Affairs and general awareness for UPSC.
What message would you like to give to your department and to Mumbaikars?
For my department, I would say that try to be as transparent as possible and do ensure that you do your best to work professionally and to meet the aspirations of the people. For people, I would say that traffic police are really working hard for their safe movement and it is not an easy task standing on streets in rainy seasons, in sunlight and during all festivals. So, they are working pretty hard. They deserve respect. So, please respect traffic police men.