Mumbai traffic department yet to recover Rs 27 crore in e-challan fine
Between Jan-Dec 2017, Rs 23 crore has been paid in e-challan fines, rest is pending, says RTI reply
The traffic police started the e-challan system in 2016. File pic
The e-challan system, despite being stringent and supposedly fool-proof, has left the traffic police with pending fines of over Rs 27 crore. The officials seem to find it tough to make offending Mumbaikars pay e-challan fines. A reply to a RTI query has revealed that from January to December 2017, fines of over R27 crore have not been paid.
Activist Shakil Ahmad Shaikh had filed the RTI plea, asking the Mumbai traffic police for the numbers. In its response, the department said it had issued 19,52,296 e-challans across the city in 2017. However, Mumbaikars paid for only 8,87,028 e-challans, leaving 10,65,268 unpaid. Sheikh told mid-day, "In the RTI, the traffic department revealed that while they were meant to collect R51,20,86,550, the department only received only R23,98,84,400. It has failed to collect the remaining fine of Rs 27,20,22,150."
The e-challan system was a pet project of the Mumbai traffic police, which began in 2016. The system uses CCTV cameras to crack down on traffic offenders. The CCTV cameras installed across the city are strategically placed to get a clear picture of the violating vehicle's registration number. The violations mainly include riding triple seat on a two-wheeler, riding without helmet, talking on mobile phone while driving, signal violation, speeding, driving without seatbelts and overstepping the zebra crossing.
DCP Deepak Devraj, Mumbai police spokesperson, said they were forced to go by the rule book and had no other plan for collecting the pending amounts. "To collect the e-challan amount, we send letters to the offender's residence and share his or her vehicle number with the RTO. However, only if they are caught during nakabandis or other offences later can they be compelled to pay the pending amount."
Rs 51 crore
Total amount of fines levied
No. of e-challans issued in 2017
How fines are collected
The offending drivers are stopped and asked to pay the pending fine through debit card, credit card or e-wallet service Paytm. If the driver does not have money in the account, s/he will be asked to call a relative to the spot. Sometimes, drivers are unable to pay the fine owing to poor network on the e-challan machine.
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