Mumbai: In order to get rid of the abandoned vehicles parked on public streets, the Mumbai Traffic Police on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it is coordinating with the city civic body to dump these unclaimed vehicles at the dumping grounds. Apart from this, the traffic department also informed the HC that to bring in 'transparency' in its functioning, it has been immediately transferring officers against whom any complaint is received.

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Surendra Tawade was further informed that the department has also removed hundreds of its officers, who have been in the traffic branch for more than three years.

This comes on an affidavit filed by Amitesh Kumar (45), the joint commissioner of police (traffic), in response to criminal public interest litigation highlighting rampant corruption in the department.

The affidavit states, “Due to an acute shortage of space in the chowkies, we are finding it difficult to park the towed vehicles. We are coordinating with the BMC to create more spaces in their dumping yards so that unclaimed vehicles lying at chowkies can be moved there.”

As regards its staff, the affidavit states, “Frequent meetings of the department are held and updates are taken regarding the personnel. Those who are found wanting in their performance and about whom complaints have been received, are warned and shifted immediately.”

“We are ensuring cleansing the system and lift up the profile of the traffic police force. Even the traffic constables at the lower level are being made aware of the consequences of their erratic behaviour with the public,” the affidavit reads.

To further cleanse the system, the department has come up with a 'roster' system wherein not a single officer is allowed to continue on a particular duty (like patrolling, drink & drive squad etc) for more than three months. It further stated that a 'duty app' has been introduced to keep track of the on-duty officers.

“The police officers who have been working in the traffic control branch for a long period have been identified and 437 such cops along with 35 officers have been transferred out of the branch,” Kumar has said in his affidavit.

“Police officers, who have not worked in the traffic branch have been inducted and this will certainly have a positive impact in curbing the malpractices of certain officers, who have developed a vested interest in the traffic department,” the affidavit adds.

The joint commissioner has further said that the traffic department is helping the BMC to implement its new parking policy. “There is an acute shortage of parking space in the city which has been the prime cause for congestion. We intend to request the BMC to plan underground and other pay and park slots to prevent on-street parking,” Kumar has said.

The affidavit further states that a new policy is being worked out by which private luxury buses would have to be parked on their own premises.

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