After crossing several hurdles, the ambitious and long-awaited project of Delhi traffic Police — e-challan — is set to be in place by August 15.
The project was conceptualised four years ago with an initial plan to launch it before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
But during the past four years, the tenders for e-challaning devices failed twice. The traffic police, however, launched a pilot project in 2011 and several agencies — which had expertise in running the system elsewhere in the country — showed some promise in Delhi too. At least nine players had shown interest and they were allocated a circle-wise pilot project of e-challans. But the project lost momentum immediately after it began.
Starting from scratch in 2012, the Delhi Police initiated the tendering process once again. A telecom major was awarded the project and after running into several delays, the project finally got the state government nod in November last year. The traffic police were scheduled to make it operational in January this year but failed allegedly due to unavailability of devices.
However, this wasn’t the end of the setbacks. The traffic police soon started facing technical and administrative roadblocks.
The former chief of Delhi traffic police, Sudhir Yadav, in January announced the project would be partially launched by January-end and fully in March. The police missed those deadlines too.
“Initially during trials, we found the system was malfunctioning during different weather conditions. It took a few months to sort this out. Then the service provider company had failed to hand over 1,200 devices on time,” said a senior police officer.
Finally, as they got rid of the technical and administrative hiccups early last month, the project met with another problem — the inability of the traffic policemen to operate the devices.
“The system appeared to be too technical for many traffic policemen to operate efficiently. It took over a month to train them,” said Taj Hassan, special commissioner of police (traffic).
Now everything is almost in place and the traffic police are awaiting delivery of a few hundred devices and a nod from the ministry of home affairs to create a payment gateway for paying through credit and debit cards.
“We are expecting it to be fully ready to launch the project within a few days. On August 15, we will be able to replace the traditional manual challan book,” said Anil Shukla, additional CP (traffic).