70000 challans issued in three months of 2022: SSP Traffic City

During the first three months of 2022, the Traffic Police (City) has gone heavily against violators. As per data, 70 thousand challans were issued which surpassed the figure of year 2021. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Traffic Police (City), Muzaffar Ahmad Shah spoke to Rising Kashmir’s city correspondent, Irfan A Mir on key issues pertaining to commuting in the city.

Traffic Police (City) is acting tough against violators. How many challans have been issued this year so far?  

During the first three months of 2022, the Traffic Police (City) has gone heavily against violators. Almost 70 thousand challans were lodged from January 2022 to March 2022 while as in 2021 there were only 69 thousand challans throughout the year. Our thrust is to come heavily on violations and we shall continue it.

There are many junctions in the city which are plugged for a long time. Why?

Yes, you are right. But we have removed major blocks so far. We have made traffic lights functional. Sometimes it becomes imperative for us to give diversions. We have started opening these blocks in a gradual manner like Women’s College, Jahangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk. In future further road blocks will be removed. 

People often complain about unnecessary seizure of bikes, vehicles etc. Why?

We are not seizing two-wheelers on one pretext or the other. I would request everyone to not give chance to Traffic Police to stop you. There are rules to obey. If you act upon them strictly, I assure nobody is going to stop you. Road users have major lacunas. They are commuting without helmet, license, documents, valid insurance, RC and most importantly HSRP (High Security Registration Plate).

What is HSRP and where from motorists can get HSRP?

It has a good number of security features like it is tamper proof. It is for the safety and security of motorists. The HSRP vehicles cannot be stolen. There is a huge number of vehicles plying without HSRP.

Every road user has to visit the RTO and deposit a fee. Within a couple of days, he/she will have HSRP. We are trying to inculcate the habit of installing HSRP. We have 6000 HSRP number plates ready but motorists are evading from installing them. Once HSRP gets installed, you cannot take it out. It is traceable and the whole data of the HSRP born number plate vehicle remains available on DigiLocker or mParivahan apps.

If data is available online, why do traffic cops seek hard copies then?

There is no need to keep hard copies along. Data available on DigiLocker or mParivahan formats are acceptable. If a cop refuses, the motorist must approach me, I will act tough against the cop. I have massively changed manual challaning to e-challaning. Currently 90% challans are being done through e-challans. However, at a few spots we are doing manual challans due to the dearth of machines. Hopefully all areas will be given an updated version of machines in coming months.

Do you think e-challaning led to a decline in human interference?

Yes. It not only declined human interference, but also unnecessary arguments between the parties as well. It leads to transparency. The machine fixes the penalty amount automatically.

What measures will be taken in future to stop violations?

You will soon have Red-Light Violation Detection Cameras installed at traffic signals and other junctions who will monitor each and every violation. There will also be Number Plate Readers who will be connected to the server. We are making people ready for something which is ahead. This system will ensure people will behave better.

Bike stunt actions, causing road mishaps often are almost daily occurrences. Is there any mechanism to deal with it?

Due to the pandemic, we were in an abnormal situation but now the situation has limped back to normalcy. Schools and coaching centres resumed their affairs. We took up this matter seriously. We are going heavily on this. Nobody will be allowed to do road stunts.

Parents have a crucial role to play in it. But unfortunately, parents are not coming forward. I request them to give their ward helmet along with the costly bikes. It will cost them just a thousand more. This menace can be stopped more effectively in a joint effort by the Traffic Police (City) and the parents. Traffic Police (City) will do its bit and parents need to do theirs.

Sumo’s, other cabs are disallowed in the city. Is there any alternative for commuters?

You cannot point out any city in the world where sumos ply. Our public transport system has received a big hit due to the intrusion of multiple operators. This declined the business of SRTC. The sumos were causing major roadblocks in the city. We can replace 8 sumos with a single SRTC bus. We are reviving SRTC in near future. SMC is also procuring 100 buses for the city. We are preparing roads for them. Those facing inconvenience at city ends will get an adequate and robust transport system soon.

Shopkeepers often complain that traffic cops take vehicles away from their customers outside shops. Why?

It is about the behaviour of people. We have multiple parking slots in the city. Why do motorists park their vehicles on roads? They are not ready to pay 20 rupees per hour or a shopkeeper doesn’t want to pay 1100 rupees per month (36/day) to make roads commutable. Unless you will not mend your behaviour, we won’t stop. Roads are meant for movement of vehicles, not for parking or business purposes. If someone gets annoyed by my work, it will not stop me from performing my duty.

Did you ever take up the repeated road occupations with SMC and others?

I took up the matter with SMC for resolution. For quite some time, the SMC has been establishing vending zones. On this front the figure is little but it will likely increase in a phased manner. We have a vending zone near Biscoe School and you can see the road outside is completely silent. Also, it is unfortunate when a vendor gets accommodation in a vending slot, he again comes outside and encroaches.

Is there any message for the general public?

Cooperate with us. What we are doing is for the betterment and safety of people. It is best for your commute. Don’t push us into the situation where we have to stop you.

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