Mumbai: Months after the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) installed high-end CCTV cameras equipped with speed detection facilities and latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) feature, the MTP received several complaints of wrong e-challans issued.
Several motorists claimed they received e-challans based on data from the ANPR cameras, despite not being at the spot or for vehicles that they don’t own, said a senior traffic official. The ANPR cameras were installed at 150 junctions in the city in two phases to curb speeding incidents. Traffic official said, “There were a few technical glitches in the new system which were resolved quickly. In genuine cases, we have also reversed e-challans which were wrongly issued to the motorist.”
Thanks to the ANPR feature, in a span of eight months since its installation, the number of e-challans issued to the traffic violators went up close to two times from 7.3 lakh per month in November 2017 (before installation) to a whopping 13.4 lakh e-challans in September 2018 (after installation).
However, after the glitches were found in the system, many e-challans were reversed, said police. The motorists and bikers have been slapped with e-challans ranging from Rs 200 for jumping a signal to Rs 1,000 for not wearing a seatbelt/helmet or rash driving respectively.
An event manager Swanand Shirpurkar, who travels from Charkop to Bandra Kurla Complex was wrongly issued an e-challan for jumping a signal at Kalbadevi Chowk. Swanand said, “Firstly, I have never been to Kalbadevi Chowk in afternoon and secondly the image attached was that of another bike.
My bike is red in colour and the bike in the image was black. Hence when I approached the police with the complaint, they immediately reversed the e-challan, giving me a sigh of relief.”Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar said, “The efforts of overcoming the technical glitches in CCTV camera system is underway.
We, MTP, too are learning by trial and error, which is ultimately for the greater good.” A year after the Mumbai police installed 5,000-odd CCTV cameras at around 1,510 spots in the city, officials said they are turning out as their virtual third eye as they have helped in the detection of a number of crimes, ranging from molestation and theft to murders, at times when there were no policemen present around the crime spots. While the CCTVs have helped in keeping a sharp eye at the spots where they are located, the captured images come in handy as case evidence.