Commuters in the city will have to wait longer to pay fines for traffic violations by simply swiping a credit card, as the electronic challan system devices that were on trial run in some parts of the city have not been returned. Sources said the devices were twice found to be faulty.
The traffic police had began the e-challan system as a pilot project. However in the past four months, they had to stop the trial runs and return the machines that appeared to have serious software problems.
The traffic police had received devices that were given to the Colaba traffic chowkie on an experimental basis in October last year. The machines and the printers were given to the constables for training to use the them. In November utself, glitches began to be noticed and the machines were later returned.
The e-challan device was to print the receipt, and update the records following every fresh offence, in real-time, said an official.
The police officers said that in February they were received two more machines and printers. This time, there appeared to be a network problem. “The system is connected to the Internet and there were some network problems. We have now returned the machines to change the SIM cards,” said a police officer from the Mumbai traffic police department.
The officers also said that they had only been provided two machines so there was a difficulty in training their staff about its usage.
According to B K Upadhyay, JCP (traffic), the e-challan system was approved by the state government in August last year. The system was proposed as it would have also helped the traffic police keep a database of vehicle numbers and motorists and would also help them keep track of repeat offenders. “Delhi, Bangalore and Navi Mumbai traffic police already have e-challan systems,” said Upadhyay.
Through the e-challan system, instead of the traditional pen and paper challans, traffic police will hand out printed challans at the spot of offence. If anybody flouting traffic rules is captured on CCTV, offenders will be sent printed challans to their homes with an image of the offence. An online payment mode will also be made operational.
After the machines are improved, the traffic police officers said that they have asked for 50 machines and printers which they will distribute to all traffic chowkies. “Each chowkie would receive two machines and two printers. We will start training the staff from next month,” said the officer.
At present the traffic personnel write traffic violations on challan booklets and a give a copy of the record to the driver. With e-challan system ,the challans would be typed and printed at the point of offence. It will also help police officers to record the licence number, registration number and other details of a vehicle involved in a traffic violation, and feed it directly to the database.