City police on a mission to make Nashik Tourist-Friendly

Visiting a new city comes with its share of surprises, and sometimes, these are not sweet ones that you might expect. For any tourist, local transport poses a big issue because many a time, rickshaw or cab drivers charge exorbitant amounts and, at times, misbehave if you refuse to pay too. Considering this and other issues that tourists face in the city, the Nashik  police has come up with a unique initiative that is aimed at helping visitors in the city.

Called the Nashik Tourist Police, the special unit has identified rickshaw drivers at tourist places and named them ‘Tourist Friend’. These people can act as your friends and guides in the city. “The aim is to curb overcharging and misbehavior. We have told these designated rickshaw drivers to act as friends to the tourists visiting our city,” shared Bharti Dhaneshwar, Police Sub Inspector, who is heading the tourist police team.

According to the police department, the initiative has started yielding results and has been helpful to many tourists in the last year, since its inception. The tourist police unit also has a patrol vehicle that makes rounds of all tourist spots and extends help to those who need it. Not just Indian tourists but visitors from abroad too are appreciating the city police’s efforts in making Nashik a tourist-friendly city.

Sharing her experience, Carol Piper, a resident of the United Kingdom, who visited Nashik recently, said, “Usually, one gets afraid when they see policemen approaching. But meeting the tourist police team was a wonderful experience for us. I was pleasantly surprised when they asked me if I needed any assistance. While leaving, they also helped us by giving information about what to do in case of and emergency and how to approach the police.” Carol even clicked pictures with the police team before leaving, to keep as a memory worth cherishing.

Her fellow countryman, Derek Newton, who was in Nashik after visiting various other Indian cities, too expressed happiness about this initiative. He said, “I have been to many places like Manali, Chandigarh, and Aurangabad, but this was the first time I saw such an initiative being done by the city police. It’s a great move and will go a long way in making Nashik a tourist-friendly place.”

The move has earned praise from people from the state too. Sameer Deore, a youngster, shared that he spotted the police vehicle at multiple places and that’s a welcome sight. “ The team was prompt in providing assistance and information to tourists They even distributed some brochures about the city. I think it’s a very nice thing and it should continue,” he said. Even popular Marathi actor  Bharat Ganeshpure complimented the team during his visit to the city. In the police unit’s feedback book, he wrote, ‘I saw a different and unique initiative being done by the Nashik Police. This will benefit the tourists visiting the city and I thank the police department of the city from the bottom of my heart for doing this’.

Tourists sometimes face issues at some places. One such time, an international tourist wanted to take some photos at a place and was facing issues. We contacted the tourist police unit and the matter was resolved promptly. Much to the happiness of the tourist who went back home with fond memories and good pictures.

Manoj Jagtap, a tourist guide affiliated to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC)

Dr. Ravinder Singal
Dr. Ravinder Singal

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