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Safeguarding a tourist hotspot from becoming a Covid hub

Written by The Optimist

As cases build up and the fight against Coronavirus strengthens, Sanjay Kundu, DGP, Himachal Pradesh identifies the major measures taken up to prevent the cynosure of all eyes from becoming a pandemic hotspot 

Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, has taken a number of initiatives to fight Covid in this tourist hotspot. 

Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh

From following three major measures — containment, isolation and guarding the borders, he has also ensured “supervising and preventing anyone from spitting, gathering or roaming around without wearing masks, forbidding everyone from entering the state from red zones and also checking that Covid-infected patients are kept in proper isolation through quarantine. Additionally, the government has provided adequate funds for protective gears and refreshments of the police personnel to ensure their safety and proper execution of their duties. 

“A healthy lifestyle is what keeps one going,” opines DGP Kundu while urging everyone to be with their families in this time of need. 

Besides working with the state and Central governments and United Nations as the Police Commissioner foregrounding human rights and national capacity building, he currently holds the charge of the Principal Resident Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh in New Delhi. 

In view of the Covid crisis taking a toll, the police in Himachal Pradesh are working relentlessly and have been successful at keeping troubles at bay.  

Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh (left)

While discussing modernisation of the force towards betterment, DGP Kundu adds “modernisation indeed is a crucial part in every person’s life, mobility, training and good communication helps us in overcoming hurdles”. He stresses on how in today’s age, modernisation is imperative and one should always stay updated. Technology is a “force multiplier” being fruitful in better supervision through CCTV cameras and keeping the connection alive and kicking. Talking about community policing, the DGP maintains: “We, as policemen, are a part of the community we look after and we analyse their problems and gather resources for helping them to the best of our abilities.” After resuming office as the DGP, Kundu directed the state police to return to fundamental policing which promotes better relations between the cops and the public, including visiting crime-scenes, interviewing witnesses and bringing the case to a logical end apart from keeping better records. “The state forms with its people,” says DGP Kundu while highlighting how through understanding problems one can resolve to eradicate them better. Whether it was inducing awareness against drug addiction or foregrounding women empowerment through appointing more lady IPS officers, the police have been adept at it all with the help of the administration. 

Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful location with tourists flocking in large numbers all year long. Shimla and Dharamshala are densely populated like any other big city and to combat local issues better, the DGP subscribes to the idea of having a Commissionerate. 

The modus of abating cybercrimes is three-fold — “information, education and communication”, making common people aware of ‘cyber-hygiene’ and auditing malevolent sites besides investigating cybercrimes properly that can prevent people from falling into online traps and scams. “Technology of today can become history tomorrow” — adds DGP Kundu while considering how to fight viruses online. 

Himachal, which is every tourist’s chosen destination, is a part of the Indus Basin with bountiful rivers and the lofty Himalayas 

But abundant natural beauty can also trigger frequent landslides, floods and earthquakes. However, the disaster management team has been quite successful in handling problems and have recently set up the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) with three excels in Shimla, Dharamshala and Kullu-Manali. Besides setting up the SDRF, the police with the assistance of state and the Central government has been training them hard as well as providing the necessary equipment for forestalling all natural disasters. “Largely, we are following the guidelines of NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) and are also working towards forming the NDMF (National Disaster Management Force),” says DGP Kundu. 

Administering a state in which tourism holds a crucial part is a commendable job. When asked about how he ensures the safety of the incoming tourists, DGP Kundu maintains: “The safety of women and children apart from keeping checks and impeding drug abuse or narcotics is of utmost care.” Most of the tourists arriving in Himachal Pradesh travel by car, thus keeping the communication better and stronger to prevent accidents, as well as imparting inputs about weather conditions and possible mishaps always helps to run things smoothly. “We are always at the service of our guests and will continue helping the tourists so they can enjoy their stay better.” 

“Once I’ve worn khaki, I tried to give my best to the service of others,” and the cop believes it was his passion that led him to where he is today. Kundu never parted with his hobby of film-writing and even earned his advanced degree on Public Policy from The University Of Minnesota, besides studying at Harvard University and the National Defence College of India. “I’ve kept myself busy and upgraded myself with the time,” he says, urging everyone to keep hopes alive in the time of crisis. 

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