With their storehouses full of confiscated junk vehicles, and owners not turning up to reclaim them, the three municipal corporations have decided to focus on seizing new cars that are found violating rules. A senior official of the South Corporation said, “Many people don’t turn up to collect their scrap vehicles — they either do not have the papers or they find out that the vehicle has been seized after several days. As the fine multiplies each day, it reaches a point where the vehicle’s value is less than the rate of the fine.”
The SDMC levies a fine up to Rs 600 for items seized from vendors, while the rate for cars and vehicles — including crane usage and storage charges — is over Rs 2,000 per day. The fine for such vehicles is Rs 1 per kg. While the south civic body has 10 storage spaces; the north has 12 places and the East four. The Indian Express visited the south MCD storehouse in Amar Colony and Kalu Sarai, and found scrapped vehicles piled one on top of the other. The vehicles jostled for space with vendors’ carts, refrigerators, junked motorcycles, cots, banners and hoardings.
“We are filled to capacity… we will now assist traffic police in lifting new cars till the junked vehicles are auctioned,” he said.
An official of the north corporation said, “The owners of new vehicles react very quickly… but this is not the case with junk vehicles. In most cases, people don’t even know their vehicles have been taken. If they come to know after two weeks, they will have to pay around Rs 30,000- Rs 40,000 as fine.”
The corporations auction junk items that no one claims through advertisements in newspapers, or online, to the lowest bidder.
SDMC Mayor Narendar Chawla said the corporation will soon auction vehicles to create space: “We are also thinking of ways to recycle them and use the metal to create structures in parks or other places.”
Officials added that thousands of junk vehicles lying on the streets have also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“In some cases, people keep junk motorbikes on the road just to ensure no one occupies their parking space. They remove it when their car has to be parked,” said an official.
In the last two weeks, the North MCD has impounded over 350 vehicles; the East over 300 vehicles, while the South has seized over 400 vehicles and more than 300 illegal carts.