Bumper offer to clear traffic-fine backlog
KOLKATA: You don’t have to queue up outside Lok Adalats to clear long-pending traffic cases against your car. Police have announced a lucrative offer to clear traffic cases with waivers up to 65%. The one-time settlement offer will be rolled out in two phases, the first one kicking off on December 1. Carowners will be able to pay fine both on and offline.
On the flip side, non-compliance or an attempt to not pay fines in this window might land you in trouble. Kolkata Police is proposing to the government and insurance companies to accept a certain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from police that will be mandatory for transfer of ownership of vehicles, renewal of insurance and pollution certificates.
Announcing the scheme at Lalbazar on Wednesday, police commissioner Rajeev Kumar stated that it was a winwin situation for both parties. “For the user, this is a real opportunity to clear all backlogs — right from 2003-04. The Lok Adalats (held every month) have been able to solve the problem only partially. It usually deals with 10,000-12,000 cases per seating. But the number of pending cases run in to millions. The scheme, comprising two phases, will be on offer from December 1 till February 13. All cases pending up to November 15 will be considered for this scheme,” said Kumar.
In the first phase, which will continue till January 14, carowners will have to pay just 35% of the total dues. And if someone chooses the second phase — between January 15 and February 13 — s/he will have to pay 50% of the dues. Cases where documents have been seized and the items sent to courts will not be entered in this scheme.
“On our part, we cannot maintain such huge database if no one is helping us analyse the data. Once this period is over, we will take the count to zero and begin afresh. This will help us observe how specific violations are taking place and the places that are recording maximum violations,” said Kumar.
There is good news for motorists when it comes to challans. “We have started a practice of forwarding CCTV footage for violations. But we still get complaints from motorists who claim they were challaned despite not being physically present at the spot. Hence, we have decided to try and send CCTV footage with each challan so that the motorist has an option to challenge it. We will also set up an enquiry committee under DCP (traffic) who will look into specific cases and decide on whether the challan can be waived,” the commissioner said.
By Thursday, a separate link on Kolkata Police and Kolkata Traffic Police websites will be available that will answer all queries on the one time traffic fine settlement system. The fine amount can be paid both online and offline. While online payments can be made through official websites, offenders can also pay up at any of the counters at all 25 traffic guards and at Lalbazar headquarters.