The Mumbai Traffic Police have now approached the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to allow 25 senior officers to access its database of vehicle registrations by logging in with unique passwords. This will obviate the need to approach the RTO repeatedly for basic information,officers said.
At present,we do not have an independent database of vehicle registrations and have to rely on the RTOs for information. We have written to the NIC to allow our officers direct access to its large database of vehicle registrations. Currently,the head of one traffic division has been provided access to the NIC database through a password assigned to him. Soon,the heads of the other 24 traffic divisions will also be provided similar access, said a senior traffic police officer.
Apart from approaching the RTO,the other option available to our officers was to use a software application called Talash,which would provide registration details. However,to open an official channel for receiving such data instantly,we have approached the NIC. Ultimately,if a traffic policeman relays the licence plate number of a suspect vehicle to the traffic control room,the person receiving the call will instantly be able to get the registration details and relay it to all units, said the officer.
Police officers had pointed out that on Sundays,when the RTOs are closed,it becomes extremely difficult for the police to get details about vehicles under investigation. While the transport department had provided some CDs of its records to the police, tracking numbers through this method was tedious and not accessible to all policemen.
In the wake of the July 13 serial blasts in the city in 2011,when core policing issues were back in focus,the state home department had asked the transport department to set up a system through which web-based access to RTOs records of vehicle registrations would be available to any police officer at the click of a button. This would strengthen beat policing by ensuring that suspicious vehicles could be checked by policemen in a matter of minutes.
However,such plans failed to materialise eventually and the police resorted to the Talash system on a pilot basis in the police stations falling under the Additional Commissioner of Police (Central region).