Ever wondered why the fine you pay when your vehicle is towed is so high?
Reason: The city’s traffic police are using private towing vans because of a shortage of government vehicles. Also, the quality of the government vans currently available are not equipped to tow high-end cars.
The traffic police currently have 94 government towing vans, while 61 private towing operate for the traffic department. However, according to statistics, it is the private towing companies who seem to be making all the profit.
Statistics shared by a senior traffic police officer, who did not wish to be named, showed that in 2010, the total revenue earned by private towing vans was Rs5,44,80,550. The revenue earned by government towing vans was Rs 5,03,52,000, which is much less even though the number of government vans is higher. This means that while private towing van owners earned Rs 45,40,045 every month, the government towing vans only fetched Rs 41,96,000 each month.
In 2011 till July, the private towing vans earned a revenue of Rs 2,93,71,450, while government towing vans, for the same period earned a revenue of Rs 58,63,600.
According to the traffic police officer, when a motorcycle is towed by a private towing van, the owner has to pay Rs 200. Out of this amount, Rs 100 goes to the government while the private towing company gets the remaining Rs 100.
Police inspector Mote Patil of the traffic department (prosecution) said, “We do not have an option but to rope in private towing vans because there are so many no parking spots in the city and the number of vehicles that we have are not sufficient. We have been repeatedly asking the state government to provide us with new towing vans since 1999.”
Another traffic officer, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media said, “The towing vans that we have are outdated. They are not equipped to tow high-end cars. When we use our vehicles, we often end up damaging the cars.”