There’s one simple reason why so many auto drivers escape unpunished despite violations – the traffic police are not monitoring online complaints, which is the most convenient and easy method for Mumbaiites to register complaints.
As part of its Meter Down campaign against errant auto drivers, on July 30 and August 6, HT published reports along with photographs of auto drivers violating traffic regulations in the presence of traffic personnel at various spots across the city. A week later, HT submitted online complaints against four of the errant drivers from the western suburbs, but there has been no response so far.
Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said: “I am not aware of the complaints registered by you. I will have to check the details and get back.” The traffic police, however, insist that the online complaint mechanism is functional and effective.
“Once the concerned authority in an area takes requisite action, he contacts the complainant and informs him or her of the steps taken. Authorities also send information on the action taken to the joint commissioner of police (traffic),” said Munna Singh, constable, traffic police, who handles the website.
However, no such thing has been done in the past fortnight, after HT filed the online complaint.Singh claimed that if the traffic police don’t get back, the complainant can contact the joint commissioner’s office (022-24954443), which is given to them along with the complaint number, which is to be used to inquire about the status of the complaint.
However, this reporter did not receive any complaint number when the complaints were registered.
HT has filed online complaints against four auto drivers – against a driver (MH 02 UA 418) who jumped a signal and led to a jam in Borivli (west) on July 28; against a driver (MH 02 UA 6897) for taking a U-turn where it was prohibited in Andheri Lokhandwala on July 28; against a driver (MH 02 SA 5382) for parking under a no-parking sign on Western Express Highway, Jogeshwari; and against a driver (MH 02 SA 5776) for parking in front of a bus stop in Bandra (west).