The Bombay high court on Friday asked the state government to remove illegal traffic booths on busy traffic intersections. The state has been asked to file an affidavit detailing the status on the removal of traffic booths by January 18.
A division bench of justice SA Bobade and justice VK Tahilramani was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Khar resident Indur Chhugani seeking an inquiry by the Crime Investigation Department into the advertisements displayed on traffic police booths across the city.
His advocate, VP Patil, said that the booths had not been removed from busy roads and some of them even displayed advertisements.
According to Chhugani’s PIL, the advertisements on these booths are sourced illegally for monetary gain.
The PIL alleges that the city’s traffic police, in connivance with civic authorities, have allowed a private company to illegally install advertisement booths at all busy traffic intersections.
The monthly revenue generated from the advertisement remains unaccounted for, as it never reaches the state government or BMC coffers. Instead, a few corrupt police officers and the advertisement company pocket the money.
The PIL contends that several senior police officers are involved in the racket, which is worth Rs10 crore per month.
Further, the PIL states that the electricity required to light up these booths is pilfered from traffic signals and that policemen never stand inside them as the bright advertisement lights make them uncomfortably hot.
Chhugani had urged the court to take strong action against those involved in this alleged racket. He had also sought that the advertisement company be directed to deposit its earnings with the court.