In close to two years since the Maharashtra Postal Department tied up with the Nagpur Police, it has delivered more than 4 lakh e-challans to traffic violators and collected more than Rs. 14 crore as fines. The postal department is now exploring similar partnerships with the police forces in the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Thane.
Data provided by the state postal department shows that 4.37 lakh e-challans were sent through Speed Post between November 2016 and August 31, 2018, and payment was received for 4.11 lakh e-challans. In total, the department collected
Rs 14.92 crore as fines for the Nagpur city police.
“We first started delivering e-challans for the Nagpur Police. It was the first such tie-up in India where e-challans are generated by the traffic police and sent by speed post to traffic violators. Along with delivery of e-challans, violators can also deposit the challan amount in the post office. They can transfer it to the traffic police via our e-payment system,” said H C Agrawal, Chief Post Master General, Maharashtra Circle, speaking to The Indian Express.
Agrawal said that the purpose of the partnership is not simply to collect penalty amounts, but to assist the police in ensuring that motorists follow rules.
Raj Tilak Roushan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Nagpur, said that while the system is working well in the city, the police is incurring cost in operating it and will soon switch to a completely digital system of delivery. “Due to challans being posted, compliance has increased but isn’t 100 per cent. We are gathering data of offenders who are yet to pay fines and putting together a database. We will send challans digitally and expect compliance to increase,” he said.
Apart from Nagpur, the partnership between the Postal and police departments is also expected to become active in Pune. We have highlighted this tie-up in our annual conferences also,” he added.
Tejaswi Satpute, DCP (Traffic), Pune city, said that discussions with the Postal department are underway and that a formal partnership should be sealed “in the next few days.”
“We want the postal department not just to deliver e-challans but also to collect fines for us. We have 3-4 digital options for motorists to pay fines but they are not working as well as expected,” she said.
Satpute said that the current system of procuring addresses and phone number of traffic violators from the RTO and sending SMS alerts has its limitations. “There are occasions when the address of the driver has changed and the phone number may either not be updated or gone out of service. A postman going to the violator’s house to deliver a challan will bring seriousness to the exercise,” she said.
Satpute added that better delivery of e-challans is a priority as traffic violators owe Rs. 18 crore in unpaid fines to the police.
In Thane, personnel working in the prosecution branch of the DCP (Traffic) Amit Kale’s office deliver challans to offenders living in the city. Kale said that the police sends challans via post to violators who are not residents of Thane but have committed offences within the city limits.
Agrawal added that the partnership with the Mumbai Police, which began sending e-challans from October 2016 after the completion of the first phase of the Mumbai City Surveillance Project, is yet to be finalised. Earlier this year, the postal department had offered to deliver e-challans to violators. Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said that the post department’s proposal is being considered.