Pune traffic police unable to recover fines amounting to ₹13 crore
While e-challans are being issued swiftly, there is no mechanism as yet to recover the fine amount from offenders.pune Updated: Sep 12, 2017 14:42 IST
Pune The Pune Traffic Police have been unable to recover fines amounting to whopping ₹13 crore from traffic rule violators over the past six months although it has been able to issue e-challans swiftly.
While e-challans are being issued swiftly, there is no mechanism as yet to recover the fine amount from offenders.
The e-challan system was launched on March 29 and the Central Traffic Management System control room was launched by the Pune Police on August 19. The control room, which receives feed from 1,230 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the city, was inaugurated by Maharashtra director general of police Satish Mathur along with Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla and deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Ashok Morale.
The police had started the new system of issuing e-challans in order to make the process of filing cases easier. Once the e-challan is issued through SMS, the citizens could pay the fine levied for various traffic rule violations, through bank cards in order to eliminate cash transactions between citizens and traffic cops deployed on the streets. The police employees who did the work of sending traffic rule violation cases through SMS, shifted their operation to the new building on the premises of the Pune Police commissioner’s office.
Within six months of the launch, the police have unpaid dues of over ₹13 crore through cases filed by the third-eye and the police personnel deployed on the streets. Through the CCTV-based ‘third-eye’ system, the unpaid dues have reached ₹7,49,07,400, while the unpaid dues through cases filed by traffic personnel on the streets is ₹5,77,55,708. Which mean, collectively, the traffic rule violators of Pune owe the traffic police ₹13,26,63,108 in fine.
“We are working on the collection of fine. The Vodafone stores for payment of fine have been increased from 24 to 74. We have also started issuing notices to traffic violators. We have issued 2,000 notices so far and will be issuing more,” DCP Morale said.
If a violator fails to respond to the notice, a court case will be filed and the procedure will be initiated, DCP Morale added. Therefore, not only does the new system promise increased strain on the judiciary, its introduction has failed to ensure traffic discipline or regulation of numbers of traffic rule violations in the city.
However, the roadblock in fine collection, similar to the system itself, is not novel. Hindustan Times had reported about the failed project worth ₹17 crore which was implemented by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 2010. That project, a PMC official said, was the pilot test for the current project.
However, that project had run into legal trouble after a Pune-based advocate had filed a court case against the local government claiming they had no right to collect arbitrary fine when the traffic police were in operation. The equipment worth multiple crores now lies waste at the old, dysfunctional control room in Swargate.
“We had a plan to levy fine as ‘special charges’ and post the challans through courier to the person concerned after which, the person could pay the fine through NEFT or at the PMC office,” a PMC official, on the condition of anonymity, said.
The foundation stone of the building was laid on December 19, 2016, eight months before its inauguration. The money to build the structure was raised through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds of Volkawagen India and Rotary Club.
It remains to be seen if legal notices will have an effect on the ever-increasing number of traffic rule violation cases.