If you are driving any vehicle 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler in Mumbai, there are high chances that you would have encountered a situation where you were stopped by Traffic police either as routine check or for violating some traffic rules, the way entire process works is as follows,
- In case you make any traffic offense and if traffic police catches you he will first ask you to show your driving license
- The police will take your driving license and will ask you to come out of your car or leave your 2 wheeler and meet some senior police (generally you will always find them in group of 2) who will be standing some feet’s away.
- Then they both explain you about the offense you have made and tell you approx. or exact fine amount.
- Once they explain you offense and fine amount they will either act to prepare pavti (challan/receipt) for the offense or sometime you will be asked “kay karaycha ahe ata? Pavti banvu kay?” meaning “what should be done now? Should I prepare challan?”
- Now you have two options,
- You hand over your license, collect the pavti and visit the local chowky within 15 days, for the payment of fine and collection of your driving license, for e.g. if you stay at Ghatkopar but were caught in Sion you have to visit the Sion Chowky, In case you are not able to visit local Chowky within 15days, you have to visit main RTO office at Worli. You may be asked to produce some documents like PUC, RC book at this place and if you do not carry they will ask you to come again with documents.
- Negotiate the amount you are ready to pay as bribe with them and get your license at the very same moment.
Considering the busy life of people in Mumbai everyone prefers to avoid the traveling time and cost, so they generally opt to bribe!
I myself have bribed few times to avoid traveling, but recently after Anna Hazares movement against corruption I have been trying my best to avoid giving bribe, first by making sure that I follow basic traffic rules and second in case I make any offense I hand over my license and visit the chowky for fine payment and collection of license.
Now as an entrepreneur and engineering student when I look at the situation I feel the entire process is simply set up to increase the corruption, the first immediate question came to my mind when I was caught was why fine cannot be collected on the spot, when I asked the question to traffic police they reply “we do not have rights to collect payment, our duty is just to prepare challans” (thoughts in my mind: prepare challan or take bribe ). I wondered why they cannot be accompanied by a person who has rights.
I did some basic Googling to understand the actual process but could not find anything official on the same, I then landed on site trafficpolicemumbai.org (as of writing this article the site seems to be down as hosting seems to have expired) which seemed like official website, on the site I found one page with one email id to contact for queries, jcptraffic @ trafficpolicemumbai.org.
I had dropped email there few months back to understand the process. I also made suggestion on how technology can be used to reduce corruption and provide better service to people (assuming they have proper reason on why fine cannot be collected on the spot), but as expected have not got any reply till date. If anyone has officials email id please use comment section to provide the same.
The suggestion I mad was,
- Whenever individual is caught for any offense their license should be taken and challan should be given with some unique number on it
- A portal can be created where A police officer can make the entry of the challan with fine amount based on the offense
- Using the unique number, the person should be able to visit portal and view the details of offense make fine payment online.
- Once the fine payment is done, license can be delivered to users address, fine payment can include courier/delivery charges. Or it can be shown as extra.
For people who do not have access to online systems, a provision can be made such that they can go to their local Chowky and make cash payments, Police at their local chowky can use the portal to mark the payment as done, which can internally notify the person of Chowky who has the license and they can initiate the delivery process which will deliver the license to owners home.
In my opinion if people will be given option to avoid traveling they will be willing to pay the fine instead of opting for bribe! hence can help to reduce the corruption a bit.
It seems Hyderabad has already started this, http://hyderabad.trafficpolice.co.in/2012/12/pay-traffic-fines-online.html
Hopefully my blog will be read some day by some officials and I will get answers/feedback to my questions and suggestion!
Please use comment section below to share your experiences or for any other suggestions on how the process can be improved.