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Police Becomes ‘Tourist Bondhu’ to Help Visitors to Dooars

The Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal have initiated a special tourist-friendly programme called Tourist Bondhu. It’s a special squad of police personnel and civic volunteers to help the tourists visiting this region. 2013-batch IPS officer Biswajit Mahato, the SP of Jalpaiguri district, launched this initiative, which was was flagged off by DIG C Sudhakar on Christmas Eve.

If you to travel to the Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal and go hopping from one tourist hotspot to another, don’t be surprised if you find police personnel coming up to you frequently to enquire about your well being. It is all part of an initiative of Jalpaiguri Police, called ‘Tourist Bondhu’.

The district police have initiated this special tourist-friendly programme to help the tourists visiting the popular tourist spots like Lataguri, Murti, and the adjacent areas of Gorumara. A special squad of police personnel and civic volunteers has been formed to help the tourists visiting this region.

Indian Masterminds interacted with 2013-batch IPS officer Biswajit Mahato, the SP of Jalpaiguri district, to know more about this initiative.

2013-batch IPS officer Biswajit Mahato, the SP of Jalpaiguri district

ABOUT TOURIST BONDHU

The initiative named Tourist Bondhu was flagged off by DIG C Sudhakar, lPS, on 24 December 2022, which is basically a squad of police personnel and civic volunteers with two four-wheelers and a police. Each police van carries a six-member team comprising both policemen and civic volunteers, while members of Winners, a women’s mobile team formed in the district, will move around in two-wheelers to assist tourists. Ten more civic volunteers will be on standby when needed.

A dedicated mobile number has been assigned to receive any kind of complaint from tourists and it will be prominently displayed in the vehicles, along with a sticker of ‘Tourist Bondhu’.

Mr. Mahato said, “It is an initiative which provides additional assistance to the tourists. In this initiative we have started mobile patrolling system at tourist spots. The policemen go and talk to tourists, inquire about their well-being, about the kind of facilities they are getting, and whether they are facing  any inconvenience, etc., and try to solve their problems immediately. The action that should ideally be taken in the police station is carried out at the spot itself.”

The second aspect of this initiative involves a team of 10 lady police personnel on two wheelers. While patrolling, this team talks to women and takes care of their inconveniences.

GOOD RESPONSE

Talking about the public response to the initiative, Mr. Mahato said, “I have received an overwhelming response so far. I have personally talked to many tourists. Everyone has welcomed this initiative. What normally happens is, when people are on holiday, they do not like the police on the scene. So we explained to them that we are not disturbing them, but are taking this initiative for their convenience only.”

SUGGESTION FROM TOURISTS

The tourists themselves have also come out with suggestions for this initiative. One of these is that the policeman should be in a different uniform so that the people can recognise them immediately as the Tourist Bondhu squad, and the fear of police will dissipate.

The department is considering this suggestion seriously. However, the police headquarters will have the final word on it.

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