Fine waiver: 9.9Lakh cases settled in first week

KOLKATA: The one-time traffic fine settlement scheme, which Kolkata has introduced to help offenders clear their dues, has received an overwhelming response in the first week itself. An unprecedented 9.9 lakh were resolved and Rs 3.8 crore was collected in fines till 5pm on Saturday. Senior cops expected the number of cases to cross 10 lakh by the end of Saturday.

To put things in perspective, a Lok Adalat leads to a collection of around Rs 20,000-Rs 35,000 in fines. Even if two such adalats are held every month, total fines realized are not more than Rs 70,000. ?Our monthly collection would hover between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh through petty challans. Collecting such a huge amount, that too within seven days, is a major achievement,? said a police source.

Incidentally, almost 55% of the entire collection has come online. ?Such was the surge on certain days that we had momentary crashes which our engineers immediately attended to and restored,? said a Lalbazar officer.

In the first seven days, some of the bigger traffic guards have already settled over 35,000 pending cases, either at the guards or online. At the Jorabagan , around 365 cases were settled last Saturday ? the first day of the scheme ? and another 334 by Sunday evening. At the southeast traffic guard, the total collection crossed Rs 19,000 on most days. The two other traffic guards with similar responses were Sealdah and Beliaghata.

Top officers at Lalbazar said they were ?pleased? with the initial response. ?There is a set of queries that has been shared on social media platforms. We are trying to answer these even as we have decided to advertise the scheme all across the city,? said a senior officer.

The maximum queries have come on whether this scheme allowed settlement of those cases which have reached court. The senior officers have clarified that the offenders can avail of the waiver scheme provided none of their documents has been seized and forwarded to court.

?How do we settle the court cases? Can these be resolved here? If it?s done then it will be really helpful,? wrote Anindya Sarkar on the Kolkata traffic police Facebook page. ?Yes, court cases are being settled through the scheme. In fact, almost 32% of cases that have been resolved so far are court cases,? replied a senior IPS officer.

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