Traffic police HQ won’t take Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Traffic police HQ won’t take Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes

If you’ve had your driver’s licence confiscated for a traffic violation, and are headed to traffic police headquarters at Worli, make sure you carry the exact fine amount, reports Megha Sood.

mumbai Updated: Oct 26, 2009 02:05 IST
Megha Sood

If you’ve had your driver’s licence confiscated for a traffic violation, and are headed to traffic police headquarters at Worli, make sure you carry the exact fine amount.

And definitely don’t take Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, because the policemen there simply refuse to accept those denominations.

Compounding the problem is the fact that there are no ATMs or shops within a 10-minute walk from the building. And when you do finally locate a shop, they won’t give you change for your Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 note unless you buy something from there.

And every day, people are learning this the hard way.

Krishna Menon, a 25-year-old who works in corporate placement, had his licence confiscated for riding his motorcycle without a helmet last month at Dadar.

Menon could not go to the Worli headquarters for 15 days because of work commitments.

“On October 3, when I went there to collect my licence, there were more than 100 people in a small room, mostly taxi drivers, waiting to collect their licences. You wait for your name to be called and then get your licence back,” said Menon, whose fine amount was Rs 100.

“I only had Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which the policeman there refused to take, saying too many of them are turning out to be counterfeit. He said he would only take exact change.”

To get that change, Menon said, he walked for 10 minutes and even then had to buy a bottle of mineral water to get those small-denomination notes.

MBA student Niranjan Das (23) had the same problem at the same headquarters building. His licence had been confiscated for lane cutting near Lalbaug.

“I had only Rs 500 notes and the officer refused to take it. I had to walk a long way from the building to get small change because there are no shops in the vicinity,” Das said.

Das and Menon are part of a growing number of motorists who have suffered this peculiar problem. But Sanjay Barve, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said they are the exceptions, not the rule. “Maybe on those particular days, traffic officers there did not have small change on them, otherwise it is not possible they will refuse to take Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes,” he said.

When told about the policemen’s fear of counterfeit notes, Barve said: “That may be the personal opinion of a traffic official.” He added that he would look into the matter.