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Friday, May 14, 2021

Mumbai Police to distribute 6 lakh stickers to motorists at checkpoints, experts warn of misuse

As it is practically impossible to check each vehicle, the police are conducting random checks at checkpoints and nakabandis at present.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
April 21, 2021 3:22:25 am
Policemen check vehicles at Mulund toll plaza on Tuesday. (Photo: Deepak Joshi)

Amid an increasing demand from motorists engaged in essential services for colour-coded vehicle stickers made mandatory by the Mumbai Police, another six lakh stickers will be distributed at checkpoints and barricades put up by the 90-odd police stations across the city and its suburbs.

As it is practically impossible to check each vehicle, the police are conducting random checks at checkpoints and nakabandis at present.

Chaitanya S, DCP (Operations) and Public Relations Officer for the Mumbai Police, said: “On Monday, we registered 48 FIRs against motorists for travelling without a valid reason. Till now, we have not found any motorist misusing the stickers. But we will be conducting random checks and if motorists are found misusing them, they will be booked.”

Besides the police, many private businessmen who run numberplate shops have started selling these stickers on roads for anywhere between Rs 100 to Rs 250.

However, fearing misuse, experts said random checks or some kind of authorisation from an government agency, like a stamp on the sticker, would have been better.

A V Shenoy, a transport expert from Mumbai Mobility Forum, said, “Its a good initiative but I fear there will be misused. I think the stickers should carry some stamp or must be authorised by a government body like BMC, RTO or Mumbai Police. Even then, the stickers can be forged but now anybody can make a sticker at home and put it on their cars. If the government issues stickers, then the amount of misuse would be much lesser.”

Ashutosh Atray of Roadsafe Foundation said, “Those who fear law will never break rules. But those from the non-essential services sector, who want to travel for some reason or the other, will put up stickers and travel and the police will have to allow them. People tend to misuse such systems. There is no harm in trying though.”

“The intention is good. But police will have to conduct strict random checks to ensure this system is not misused,” said Milind Maske, director of Praja Foundation.

To ensure that vehicles involved providing essential services do not get stuck in traffic jams, the police have come up with the colour-coding system.

While red stickers will be used by doctors, nurses, those supplying medicines and related services, as well as ambulances, green stickers are to be used by those dealing in food, vegetable and grocery related items. Yellow will be used by all other essential service providers mentioned in the recent circular, including government servants and mediapersons.

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