Tired of vehicles breaking down in the middle of the road and causing long traffic jams, the Delhi traffic police had thought of levying a heavy penalty on goods vehicles that broke down. However, the proposal for the same was not approved by the authorities.
To overcome the problem, the traffic police is now planning to procure heavy hydraulic cranes and tie up with two government agencies to use their cranes for quick removal of broken down vehicles.
Delhi police, which owns only 27 cranes including 16 hydraulic cranes (cranes that can remove or tow heavy vehicles), will soon procure 12 more hydraulic cranes. The police also plan to tie up with the Container Corporation of India (which operates inland transport services, clearance, and cargo handling) and National Highway Authority of India (responsible for the development, maintenance and management of National Highways).
“Delhi cannot afford to have vehicles breaking down on busy city roads. Sometimes such breakdowns cause traffic jams for hours as with the available resources we cannot remove the heavy vehicles quickly from the breakdown sites. We have now decided to procure at least 12 hydraulic cranes each of 20 tonne capacity and also tie up with private and government agencies,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
Vehicles breaking down on the capital’s arterial roads has become a perennial problem with an average 20 vehicles breaking down every day on the city’s roads and causing massive traffic jams.
Traffic officials say most of the vehicles that break down are goods vehicles that are actually unfit to ply on city roads. These vehicles, however, continue to ply with ‘illegally issued’ fitness certificates which further leads to frequent breakdowns and jams.
The traffic police also reportedly took up the matter with the transport department. However, nothing came out of it.
Besides, many goods vehicles that ply on the city’s roads are registered in other states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab among others on which Delhi transport department does not have any control.
“This is a serious problem and contributes largely to road traffic chaos. Traffic jams due to breakdown of heavy vehicles, especially goods trucks, have become a daily affair,” said a traffic police officer.
Nearly 160 breakdowns were reported in the last week of May while 600 vehicle breakdowns were reported in the entire month, said an official.
In February, the traffic department had sent a proposal to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna requesting him to bring in a legislation or amend the state motor vehicle rule on this and increase the penalty from Rs100 to Rs10,000 per hour on any vehicle that breaks down in the middle of the road. However, this proposal has not been cleared by the L-G so far.