The Mumbai traffic department, which had recently initiated multiple drives to make violators pay fines, has managed to recover Rs 1.12 crore of the pending Rs 317 crore in the last 24 days. The amount has been recovered against 2,593 challans with the help of a dedicated call centre that the traffic department had set up to recover pending dues.
Under the e-challan system introduced four years ago by the Mumbai traffic police, fines were not accepted in cash. Violators had to either pay by card or visit the website of the traffic police to pay dues. However, over the last four years, many violators have defaulted on payments. In all, 29 lakh challans, with a total fine value of Rs 317 crore, remained unpaid till 24 days ago.
In view of the size of the pending dues, the traffic police had decided to set up a call centre to reach out to those whose fines were pending. So far, the call centre has contacted 4,600 defaulters, with penalty against 2,593 challans being recovered.
Officers said they wish to continue with the call centre till all pending dues are recovered.
The police have also set up 11 special teams which visit the residences of errant motorists to collect fines after giving them a reminder call. In mid-December, the Mumbai traffic department had sent an application to the Maharashtra government seeking approval to appoint recovery agents for the job.
Meanwhile, the authorities said they have temporarily revoked the licenses of 2,000 motorists having a significant number of unpaid challans.
In view of the high number of defaulters, the Mumbai traffic police has now started accepting fines in cash after seeking approval from the government last month. Somnath Gharge, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, “Only officer-rank personnel can accept cash fines. Constables are not allowed to accept any fine by cash. While many motorists are reluctant to pay up, the special drive and the call centre system has helped us reach out to defaulters and recover the money.”
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