In the past six days, the Pune traffic control branch has penalised owners of over 4,000 vehicles that were spotted in no-parking zones in various parts of the city.
On August 15, the traffic control branch initiated a drive against defaulters of parking norms. Senior inspector (planning) R S Kamire of the traffic control branch said, “We have been carrying out drives, which will address various traffic rule violations. In the past, though we have conducted drives against violators of no-parking rules, we could take up very few cases in a day. In the current drive, we have decided to use wheel jammers. Till now, we have taken action against owners of over 4,000 vehicle, most of them four wheelers and heavy vehicles, and over Rs 5 lakh has been collected as fine.”
According to the new process, the wheels of vehicles spotted in no-parking zones are jammed. The jammer is removed only after the driver pays the fine.
Assistant Commissioner of Police R J Salunke said, “In this drive, we have also taken action against several school buses. But before taking action, we send letters to schools asking them to ensure that buses are not parked in the no-parking zones.”
Kamire added, “The vehicles parked in no-parking zones cause traffic jams, especially in narrow connecting roads. We have placed parking restrictions in connecting roads because of the increasing vehicular population. Such drives will continue in future.”
St Mary’s school finds students stranded as pvt buses get caught
The traffic department’s ongoing drive against private vehicle transporters of schools caught several parents of students studying in St Mary’s school unawares on Thursday. The traffic department jammed the wheels of the private buses spotted in no-parking zones outside the school.
“When I did not receive a call from the bus operator, I made calls to other parents. The children had to wait in the school till their parents came to pick them up,’’ said an anxious parent, who had to rush to fetch her child.
Due to the ongoing unit tests, students finished early and were supposed to leave at noon. However, due to jammers on private transport buses, they had to stay back in the school, leaving parents anxious. Another working parent said she had to make calls to the school to ask them to let her child stay in school as she had to travel from Hinjewadi, which is an hour away. “All the parents were caught unawares. Neither the school, nor the transport services informed us,’’ said another parent.
Chaos prevailed outside the school premises leading to a traffic jam for over an hour. Due to the ongoing drive initiated by the traffic department, private bus operators have decided to strike work on Friday. Discussions will be held with the Parents’ Teachers’ Associations.
“It was a sudden move. The school and traffic department will have to help us with the way forward,” said one of the transport service operators. He added that most transport service operators called up parents to inform them about the situation, however, due to the large number of students, it was difficult to communicate to all the parents.
“We should probably initiate a group messaging service for the same,’’ said S Jhambulkar, president of Pune district transport association.
School authorities issued a statement that the buses parked outside the school gate belonged to private transport operators, who parked it there for their convenience.”The traffic police have objected to buses being parked outside the school gate, although it has been the practice for long. These buses ferry children from not only St Mary’s School but also other schools in the vicinity. However, most of them generally park near the St Mary’s school gates,” the statement read.
It further stated, “On Thursday, the police put jammers on the buses parked outside the school for alleged parking violations. As a result, the school bus operators went on a flash strike thereby inconveniencing children and parents. The students were stranded in the school. We had to make calls to parents to ask them to fetch their children.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police R J Salunke said they had initiated action against 10-12 schools. “Before taking action against private transport operators, we send out letters to the schools asking them to ensure that the buses are not parked in the no-parking zones.”