February 1, 2009 11:59:16 pm
Rs 500 penalty for lane violators on BRT stretch,govt eyes more penalty power for Transport dept
Finally,lane violators on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor are now penalised. Like other traffic violations,the penalty for cars and scooterists using the bus lane on the corridor will be a maximum of Rs 500,Delhi government officials confirmed.
Penalising lane violators on the corridor began two weeks ago and the Delhi government has been lobbying with the Lieutenant Governors office to allow the Transport department,rather than the traffic police,to start issuing the penalty slips on the BRT corridor,officials said.
Delhis Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta confirmed that the decision comes following a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
We realised that there were more and more violations on the BRT corridor,and they were going completely unchecked private vehicles were using the bus lane as well as the cycle tracks,which defeats the purpose of segregated vehicle lanes, Mehta said. The penalty started two weeks ago. We also received reports of government vehicles using the bus lane,so both private and government vehicles will be penalised.
But while government officials said that action against violators on the corridor have not been up to the mark,Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S N Srivastava said the traffic police have been carrying out inspections and persecuting violators ever since the BRT corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand was launched. We have been issuing penalty to violators since last year,when the BRT became operational, Srivastava said. Cars often use the bus lane and scooterists have been caught using the cycle tracks they have all been fined for lane violation.
We booked 2,000 violators on the corridor last year alone.
But the Delhi government wants more to be done in terms of curbing traffic violations,senior officials said. Stressing on the governments talks with the Lieutenant Governor to empower the Transport department further,an official said,The idea is to let the Transport department start with the BRT corridor and then gradually extend powers to penalise traffic violators across the city. There is a provision under the Motor Vehicles Act under which the Transport department can legally persecute traffic violations,as is done in many other cities across the country.
The government official said the police,though,are opposing this proposal. The police contend that penal provision falls only under the jurisdiction of Delhi Police Act,the official said. But we feel two bodies working together in curbing the violations will be much more effective.
The Lieutenant Governor is yet to take any decision on the matter.
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