Four years after its initial proposal, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will install its first vehicle scanner at one of the city’s five octroi nakas within a week.
The five nakas are at Western Express Highway Naka (Dahisar), Eastern Express Highway Naka (Mulund E), Lal Bahadhur Shastri Marg Naka (Mulund W), Mulund-Airoli Link Road Naka (Airoli) and Mumbai-Panvel Highway Naka (Mankhurd).
To be installed on a pilot basis, the BMC will install the scanner, which will scan the contents of trucks passing by. However, the BMC is still undecided on which naka will be used for the pilot project. Officials said apart from catching those evading octroi, the scanner will ensure faster dispersal of trucks, which will mean less traffic congestion at the posts especially during peak hours.
Estimates say the civic body can get as much as a 15% rise in its octroi collection. This is significant because octroi collections are the highest revenue earners for the BMC.
This decision comes more than four years after the standing committee approved the modernisation of the city’s five Octroi nakas. The civic body delayed installing the immovable X-ray vehicle scanners, mainly because of the high costs involved.
The scanner will be mounted on a vehicle. Said a civic official, “Its mobility will be a big advantage for us because we will be able to use it at nakas where there is more congestion and shift it to another naka when the job is done.”
As a way to by-pass the high costs, the civic body has proposed to install this scanner as a pilot project. If successful, it will install them on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
Rajeev Jalota, additional municipal commissioner said, “The high costs were because of the large number of scanners we wanted. We are now trying to cut down on that number. Hence, till the time we take a final decision, we plan to have a pilot project to check the efficacy of the scanner.”
Jalota said the device will be tested on a number of counts. “The scanner scans the vehicle only from a single side and hence, it remains to be seen whether the scan will be comprehensive enough.”
Another civic official, not wishing to be named said, “We will also check to see if the scanner can detect all the items inside the truck and whether the quality and quantity of the items will be visible enough in the scans.”
The civic body will check the daily performance report of the scanner for ten days and then, taking a decision on its continuity.