The much-awaited pet project of the Mumbai traffic police — the e-challan system — was finally launched Tuesday. The system will involve the use of cameras to crack down on traffic offenders. “There is no need for you to look for a traffic constable at a junction before breaking traffic rules. Our cameras will anyway click you in the act,” said Mumbai Police chief Dattatray Padsalgikar at the launch. According to the police, the 4,617 CCTV cameras that have been operational in the city since Sunday will stream live footage to the traffic police control room, where a team of trained police personnel would scan for violators.
Spread across 1,510 locations throughout the city, the CCTV project is being executed by a consortium led by L&T. While 20 per cent of the 4,617 cameras are fixed to one point, the rest are pan, tilt and zoom cameras. These cameras are strategically placed to get a clear picture of the violating vehicle’s registration number, police said. 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 seat belts and overstepping the zebra crossing.
The fourth floor of the traffic police headquarters in Worli will now be completely dedicated to the new initiative. One side of the floor will comprise officers scanning through the real-time videos to look for violators across the city. They will then send the image of the violators to the other side of the room for officers there to prepare e-challan for the violator. “The police will use the registration number to detect violators’ mobile number and they will be sent an SMS with the challan. After receiving the challan, the violating motorists can click on the payment link, which will direct them to a payment site. This will enable the motorists to pay their penalties online using their debit and credit cards. We want this process to be cashless,” said Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police, (Traffic).
According to the traffic police, over the past two months, they have collected contact details of the owners of about 15 lakh vehicles out of the 28 lakh vehicles in the city. “We have got most of the information from the RTOs. But we have even placed some constables at petrol pumps to get more information,” said an officer. The system would maintain a record of the vehicle numbers and issue notifications in case of unpaid fines. “If a motorist commits more than three offences, we will request the RTO to suspend his or her licence,” Bharambe added.
The traffic police also launched the new towing vans called ‘Ultra-Modern hydraulic TVS’ on Tuesday. The new towing vans, with GPS and cameras, are equipped to even tow high-end cars without causing damage. By the end of November, 80 of these vehicles are expected to be in the city. To round off the slew of mordernised methods to improve traffic condition in the city, a ‘Mumbai Traffic Police’ application was also launched. “This app would help improve traffic. Users can also report about violators to us along with a picture. Even location-based traffic information will also be sent out,” Bharambe added. Giving the example of the ongoing Navratri celebrations, an officer said that if a app user travels in Goregaon, he will get updates of how the traffic is around the area.