Pollution control network down, but motorists continue to be fined

Updated on May 24, 2016 01:16 AM IST

Delhi Traffic Police’s servers at booths that give the mandatory document are down for the past 10 days. But traffic police — probably unaware of the glitch — have issued 126 challans to people for driving with an expired certificate since May 10.

A Delhi traffic policeman checks a biker’s documents in New Delhi during odd-even second phase.(AFP file photo)
A Delhi traffic policeman checks a biker’s documents in New Delhi during odd-even second phase.(AFP file photo)
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Motorists in the Capital are being fined for not carrying an up-to-date copy of the pollution under control (PUC) certificate, though servers at booths that give the mandatory document are down for the past 10 days.

The malfunction makes it impossible to either renew or get a fresh certificate.

But traffic police — probably unaware of the glitch — have issued 126 challans to people for driving with an expired certificate since May 10.

“My certificate expired last week and since then I visited several booths. On the first day I did not pay much attention, thinking one or two centres are facing the problem. But I have been turned away from every booth for the past three days citing technical trouble,” said 45-year-old Tarun Mathur, a resident of south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj.

He visited at least eight booths, including the ones at RK Puram’s sectors 5 and 8, Sri Aurobindo Marg, and Chirag Dilli, to renew his certificate on Sunday. Everywhere the sign said: “Server down”.

Traffic police officials are not showing any leniency to the “offenders”, though.

“Why or how the certificates have not been renewed is not our business to know. If a driver is found without or with an expired certificate, he will be prosecuted under the motor vehicles act,” a senior traffic official said.

“We are not denying that some people may be facing genuine problems in getting their certificates renewed but there would be several others to take advantage of this lapse if we stop fining.”

A first-time offence attracts a fine of Rs 1,000 while somebody caught driving without a valid certificate for a second time must pay Rs 2,000.

There are 388 booths for petrol- and CNG-run vehicles and 273 for diesel vehicles in the city. People are required to get a pollution-check paper a year after purchasing a new vehicle and renew it subsequently every three months.

A booth worker at East Nizamuddin on Mathura Road said he has renewed only two certificates in the past fortnight. “We have been facing technical problems after the process was made online. But it has been particularly bad the past two weeks … what can we do if the problem is with the main server,” he said.

These booths were brought under a centralised system last December, although a comprehensive mechanism has yet to be developed by the Delhi government’s transport department. To make matters worse, coordination is absent because traffic police are not under the city government.

A transport official dismissed the problem as temporary.

“Frequent power outages and some technical problems have come to our notice and we are in the process of fixing these. People will not have to face any inconvenience,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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