Mumbai: Special traffic police teams to tackle rogue auto, taxi drivers
Following mid-day's series, traffic police launch three squads of four each to buffer commuters from drivers who won't ply
The Mumbai Traffic Police has intensified its crackdown on errant autorickshaw and taxi drivers by launching special squads that will patrol across Mumbai daily for this very purpose.
Three squads have been deployed, one each in the island city, and the eastern and western suburbs. In their respective zones, these squads will not be tied down by local police station jurisdictions and will have full authority to take action against traffic rule violators.
Each squad comprises one PI-rank officer and three constables. While one team will be deployed in south Mumbai, the remaining two teams will operate in the eastern and western suburbs.
The squads will focus on high-footfall areas, such as railway stations
Freedom to act
Unlike regular traffic police teams, these squads will not be restricted to a particular police station's jurisdiction. They will have the freedom to patrol the entirety of their zone, the island city, for instance, and take action against any auto or taxi drivers who break the law, particularly those who refuse to ply. The squads will mainly focus on heavy footfall areas and sensitive locations such as railway stations, especially during peak hours, so they can ensure minimal inconvenience to citizens.
Amitesh Kumar, joint commissioner of the traffic police, said, "The special squads have been formed to take action against errant auto, taxi and heavy vehicle drivers across the city. This will intensify our campaign against them."
Action taken so far
This is the latest step taken by the traffic police, who initiated a massive crackdown following mid-day's series of reports on how auto and taxi drivers harass commuters and fleece them.
Since the drive against errant drivers began on February 2, upon the instructions of former Commissioner of Police Subodh Jaiswal, the traffic cops have taken action against more than 32,000 auto drivers.
In a joint operation with the Regional Transport Office (RTO), the cops have already seized more than 500 autos plying without licence and permit across the city. Around 100 of these have been returned to the owners upon payment of heavy fines imposed by the RTO. Others were served notices by the transport authority.
After mid-day's campaign, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, took cognisance of the issue and instructed the traffic police to continue with the special drive until the problem is solved.
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