The state government on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that the 100 CCTV cameras installed at traffic junctions in the city in 2006-07 are unsuitable for traffic enforcement.
Traffic constables will soon be empowered to fine offenders on the spot and impound licences,stated an affidavit filed by Balasaheb Pachundkar,ACP,Traffic Planning Division. The powers would be given to them in a month,the court was informed.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Bombay Bar Association (BBA) and the Western India Automobile Association seeking greater traffic safety and strict adherence of traffic norms in the city. The affidavit filed by Pachundkar stated that the 100 CCTV cameras installed in 2006-07 do not have the capacity of automatic processing. Although 659 traffic offences were detected through these cameras in 2010 and 372 in 2011,they are mainly used for monitoring snarls,waterlogging and VIP movement,it stated.
The existing cameras cannot recognise numberplates,send information to chowkies and generate automatic challans. The challans have to be served physically,making it highly cumbersome and inefficient,the affidavit submitted by assistant government pleader J S Saluja stated.
After a delegation of officers visited London to study the operation of CCTV cameras for traffic management,a proposal regarding the installation of more than 5,000 cameras in on the anvil. These cameras are expected to be operational within a year,it stated.
Pachundkar said the government is also considering the implementation of the Traffic-i-cop or E-challan systems where it would be possible to store information about traffic violations.
The affidavit states that in the light of empowerment of head constables,a decision was taken to reduce the impounding of licences to bare minimum after which the number of cases decreased. Allegations of harassment and corruption have drastically reduced,it added.
According to the state government,1,27,969 traffic offences were registered in January 2012 and fines worth Rs 1.59 crore were collected. This,the government said,is a fall in the numbers compared to January 2011 when 2,01,262 offences were registered and Rs 2.17 crore was collected in fines.
The court granted four weeks to the state and BMC to file a reply on the status of proposals,such as increasing fines for traffic offences,survey of traffic signals by zonal committees,status of zebra crossings and lane markings.
Another affidavit filed by BMC Chief Engineer (road,traffic and bridges) Ravindra Ghodke stated that 30 per cent of 702 zebra crossings,painted between June 2009 and June 2011,in the city need rectification. The traffic department,however,objected to this saying that two-wheelers will be prone to skidding if the zebra crossings are washed.