Taking serious note of complaints from motorists about crude handling of their vehicles by towing van operators, which often damages them, the state has now decide to do away with all the private operators hired by the traffic department. The decision will come into effect starting June 15. “From June 15, we will not be using a single towing van that belongs to any of the private operators,” said a senior traffic police officer.
According to sources from within the traffic police, the decision was taken after the police discovered that the private operators were flouting norms and most of their employees lacked credentials. Also, when the police commissioner conducted a surprise check, he discovered that history-sheeters, mostly car thieves, were being hired to tow vehicles.
The motorists in their complaints had alleged that even if vehicles were parked properly, the private operators harassed them by deliberately towing away their vehicles. Allegations were also levelled against the private operators and on-duty traffic police officials of being hand in glove, stating that the latter were receiving cuts from the operators to ignore unlawful towing.
In addition, motorists had also complained against the ill-mannered operators, who often loaded and unloaded vehicles carelessly, damaging them. Though most of the private towing vans are registered either in Thane, Navi Mumbai or Panvel, the entire fleet of 54 private vans is operational in the island city. “This is a good move and will surely save government’s money. Moreover, many of these private towing vans are illegal,” said Jagdeep Desai, a transport expert.