Traffic police turn to tech as penalties get stricter

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on October 09, 2019 Published on October 09, 2019

States adopt various avatars of e-challan system

With the enforcement of stricter traffic rules since September, traffic police in different States have turned tech-savvy. The e-challan app has taken off in a big way, making the process of imposing penalties on violators largely paperless.

While Uttar Pradesh has rolled out the app by handing over simple Android mobiles to its enforcement officers, Odisha and Tamil Nadu have tied up with banks to fund devices that store the app for their police force. Delhi, on the other hand, has chosen to hand over an entire project to NIC, the IT arm of the government, to create an end-to-end solution that includes the device as well as the software.

The e-challan app, developed by NIC, allows police and transport department officials to generate penalty receipts online and deploy technology to ‘catch’ violators. The app, funded by the Road Transport Ministry, was launched in 2017.

Over 1.5 crore challans have been issued through e-challan apps across States, and penalties adding up to ₹2,300 crore have been imposed. “Till date, 17 States have adopted the e-challan app,” Joydeep Shome, Senior Technical Director, NIC, told BusinessLine.

Shome, who is part of the transport team of NIC, noted that the app “has been adopted by the traffic enforcers in different States.”

The UP Transport Department was the first mover. “In 2017, it implemented the system in the entire State by providing Android mobiles to enforcement officers, in which the e-challan app was installed,” said Shome.

Banks in the fray

Some States, like Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Goa, have tied up, or are set to do so, with banks, which provide the devices to the States free of cost, based on approved service agreements. Banks do this as the penalty collection is transferred to them. “Odisha was the first to adopt the model, followed by Tamil Nadu and others through HDFC Bank and SBI,” Shome said.

In Delhi, the police handed over a turnkey project to NIC, making the latter responsible for providing the device, connectivity, software, hosting, technical support, and the payment gateway integration required to enable electronic collection of penalties. NIC has procured 1,000 devices equipped with SIM cards, printers and solutions to accept credit and debit card payments.

“In Delhi, since June 2019, 17 lakh on-spot challans have been issued through these devices, apart from 37 lakh traffic violation notices through the e-challan system based on technology like CCTV cameras, speed guns and other devices of the Delhi Police. They capture the number plates of vehicles violating traffic rules,” said Shome.

In a related move, NIC is updating the software for speed limits for various road stretches, whichtend to vary from place to place. This will ensure over-speeding challans are generated accordingly.

Published on October 09, 2019
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