Tension clutched the traffic naka between Sector 33/45 dividing road on Tuesday, as two women two-wheeler riders, who were challaned for riding without wearing a helmet, alleged that the traffic police were unnecessarily harassing them. The women, who were challaned separately, also called their family members to the scene.
However, later the accusations were found baseless and one of the men, who had come in support of the women, was identified as a psychiatric patient. The man was taken to the Sector 34 police station and as he complained of uneasiness, he was rushed to GMCH-32.
The father of one of the women, a district court employee, argued with the traffic police for challaning his daughter and suggested that the police rather educated the women riders. While the traffic police claimed that the woman tried to tear the challan slip, which was issued against her.
The incident took place around 12pm during a special challan drive in the Southern Division of UT traffic police.
Following the altercations at the naka, senior traffic police inspector Jaspal Singh rushed to the spot. He said, “We intimated the local police about the misbehaviour at the traffic police naka. Later, the man, identified as Vineet Kumar, was rushed to the Sector 34 police station.”
Sources said ASP (South) Neha Yadav also examined the situation and as the police realised that the man was a psychiatric patient, no legal action was taken against him. As many as 70 persons were challaned for riding a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet, taking a u-turn, triple riding and for other offences, during the special challan drive in the South-East traffic division. DSP (traffic) Harjeet Kaur said the drive will continue in the coming days.
Wheel clamp damaged
The UT Police arrested a Manimajra resident for damaging the wheel clamp, which was put around one of the wheels of his Chevrolet Sail car in Sector 34 on Monday. The accused identified as Gaurav Verma was later released on regular bail.
A case was registered against him at the Sector 34 police station. Police said the wheel of Gaurav’s car was clamped because it was parked in a no-parking zone. Traffic police ASI Fakir Chand lodged a police complaint alleging that Gaurav had damaged the clamp when he forcefully tried to take away his car along with the clamp.
Seeking PUC, motorists crowd pollution checking centres
Since September 1, the 34 pollution checking centres in Chandigarh are witnessing an unprecedented increase in the footfall of motor vehicles coming to obtain the Pollution Under Control certificates (PUC).
While in August, 38,293 vehicles, including 31,001 petrol-operated vehicles and 7,292 diesel-operated vehicles were issued the PUC certificates, a total of 76,778 vehicles were issued the certificate between September 1 and September 16. Of the 76,778 vehicles, as many as 66,504 vehicles were petrol-operated and 10,274 vehicles were diesel-operated. The vehicles included both two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
Under the amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019, the fine for driving a vehicle without the pollution certificate was revised from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. State Transport Authority (STA) secretary, Harjeet Singh Sandhu said, “Out of 34 pollution centres, 28 centres have the facility to test both petrol and diesel operated vehicles. Six centres have a machine to only test petrol-operated vehicles. One month and a half ago, there were only a handful of centres equipped with machines testing the diesel vehicles, but recently most of the centres added machines to check the diesel vehicles as well. CNG gas-operated vehicles are also checked through machines designed for petrol-run vehicles.”
The STA officer said, “Rush at these centres will increase in the coming days. Chandigarh has over 11.50 lakh vehicles. A PUC certificate is valid for six months. After six months, motorists have to take a fresh PUC. The Light Absorption Coefficient (permissible limit) for diesel vehicle is 1.62 and for the petrol vehicle, the Light Absorption Coefficient (permissible limit) is 3.50.”
Manager at the Chandigarh Automobile Sector 27 fuel station, Bajrangi Lal said, “Earlier, we were receiving an average of 50 vehicles for the PUC certificate each day and now, about 125 to 150 vehicles come for the test every day. There is always a queue for obtaining the PUC at all the centres. It is difficult to control the crowd.”
Diesel-operated vehicles at the receiving end
Meanwhile, diesel operated vehicle owners face a tough time to obtain PUC from these centres.
Suresh Kumar of Sector 27 said, “Employee of a fuel station in Sector 28 did not examine my diesel operated car. Later, when I enquired, one of the staff members at the fuel station said that pollution check of diesel-operated vehicles takes a lot of time. In the same time, at least four petrol operated vehicles can be examined. Although, the charges of giving the PUC for all the vehicles, petrol or diesel operated four-wheeler or two-wheeler was Rs 50.”
An employee at a checking centre in Sector 27 said, “There are maximum chances of failure in pollution test of diesel-operated vehicles. A number of time when vehicles do not pass the test, drivers blame us that it is because of technical snags in our machines.”