Transport Dept Impounded 97% More Vehicles Than 2017
The transport department cracked the whip on errant vehicles in a big way in 2018. The number of vehicles impounded by its enforcement division vis-avis 2017 went up by 97% even as prosecutions increased 33%. The number of challans issued also went up 35%.
In 2017, the department prosecuted 1.7 lakh vehicles. The figure touched 2.23 lakh in 2018. The number of challans issued went up from nearly 2 lakh to 2.7 lakh in in 2018. However, it was the number of vehicles impounded that saw a massive spurt. From 24,765 vehicles impounded in 2017, the number doubled in 2018 to 48,830. This increase was partly made possible by the availability of two new impounding pits at Sarai Kale Khan and Dwarka. Lack of space, a major issue earlier, often deterred teams from impounding vehicles.
“Earlier, we had just one pit in Burari and vehicles from across the city had to be brought there. Space was a major problem and, many times, we had to avoid impounding the vehicles. We would release them after issuing challans,” an official said. “However, now that we have three centres at different corners of the city, many more vehicles have been impounded,” he said.
Like in 2017, action against polluting vehicles remained the focus area. The number of visibly polluting vehicles increased 11%. In absence of mobile pollutiontesting kits, enforcement teams rely on their experience to prosecute vehicles. Action taken against vehicles without valid pollution under control certificates also saw a similar increase in 2018.
The last few years has seen a massive — and unregulated — growth in the number of e-rickshaws on city roads. Today, they number around a lakh. A little under 50,000 are registered. From just 500 unauthorised erickshaws prosecuted in 2017, the number went up almost six fold to 3,246 in 2018. The number of challans issued went up from 606 to 4,466.
“In 2018, we took stronger action against unauthorised e-rickshaws and those found plying on arterial roads,” the official said. “Impounding e-rickshaws is big headache, though. They take up space and, as per court orders, we can’t release these vehicles until they are duly registered,” he said.
The year also saw a major increase in action taken against private vehicles illegally plying as school vans. “Most private vans operating as school vans are not registered as per the school cab policy and don’t follow safety guidelines. Most such vans are overloaded despite strict norms,” the official said.
Though perennially facing a manpower crunch, 2018 saw some relief for the enforcement wing as some recruitments were made. “We also received 27 new vehicles that has vastly increased our efficiency. Also, we started e-challans for the first time in 2018,” he said.