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NGO wants state to bring back software to rein in offenders

Shelved due to lack of funds, award-winning 'traffic-i-cop' was once used by traffic police dept to trace and penalise offenders

Almost a week after Union Minister Gopinath Munde passed away in a car accident while on his way to the Delhi airport, the ministry of road transport and highways directed the Delhi traffic police to revoke licences of all those offenders caught violating traffic norms for the third time, for a period of six months.

traffic police
A traffic police warden pulls up a motorcyclist. The software can help nab bogus licence holders and falsely registered vehicles

A similar initiative to nail traffic offenders, which was initiated in the city on a pilot basis for two years between 2009 and 2011, was later scrapped by the state government citing lack of funds.The city traffic police department had developed the traffic-i-cop software in 2009, using which the traffic police could trace and penalise offenders.

The software also won the award for the best innovative project through technology application from the Ministry of Urban Development in December 2011. But soon it was discontinued, as the state lacked money to pay for the services.
Using the software, traffic police personnel could trace the history of any vehicle with the help of a Blackberry handset. The devices were synced with the Pune traffic server.

Upon learning about the transport ministry’s latest initiative, Sajak Nagrik Manch (SNM) wrote to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and inister of state for home Satej Patil alleging state apathy behind shelving the project, and demanded its revival.

SNM executive trustee Jugal Rathi said, “Traffic guidelines can be implemented with the help of traffic-i-cop. The software can help nab bogus licence holders and falsely registered vehicles. We have sent a letter to the state government, requesting it to restart the project because traffic-i-cop can is capable of curbing criminal activities in the city that are committed using vehicles.” Despite repeated attempts, DCP (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare remained unavailable for comment.

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