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THE Pune traffic police are planning to introduce cashless process of collecting fines from traffic rule violators through e-challans in a bid to bring transparency in the system. Though the traffic police have been mulling the process for long, they now seem to be pushing hard to introduce the e-challan system.
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“Yes, we are planning to introduce e-challan process in Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Pravin Mundhe. Though he refused to reveal the exact date when the process would start, Mundhe said all efforts are underway to introduce the system.
When a traffic offender is booked, the traffic police issue manually written receipts. The amount of fines then goes to the state treasury. However, civic activists have often alleged that the traffic police in many cases do not issue receipts as they strike a compromise with the offenders and pocket the fine amount, resulting in loss to the state treasury and emboldening the traffic violators to repeat the offence.
The traffic police book 3,000 offenders every day in Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad. ‘’Last year, we had booked 19 lakh offenders. But this year the figure is likely to be lower due to strict actions against offenders,’’ said Mundhe. The traffic police said such allegations will become a thing of the past once the e-challan system is introduced.
“The e-challan system will arm the traffic police with handheld wireless devices. Once an offender is caught, a traffic police officer has to submit the registration number of the vehicle and licence number of the driver in the device. The device will produce an e-challan for the offence entered into it,” said a senior officer.
The traffic police said the system eliminates cash transactions as motorists can also pay the fines through credit and debit cards. “The handheld devices also work as swipe machines. In this case too, motorists get a printed receipt with concerned details,” it said.
The e-challan system was first introduced in the country in Navi Mumbai in January last year. The State Information Department had provided Android devices for the new plan. Manav Kamble, president of Manav Haqq Suraksha Samiti, said,”It is a step in the right direction. The traffic police in Pune have been drawing flak over the years for compromising with offenders. Once the system is in place, offenders will know there will be no compromise and hence there will be less traffic violations and less accidents,” he said.