Traffic Dept Will Shell Out Rs.10 cr To Make Fines Cashless
A personal digital assistant (PDA) gadget will let violator swipe a card and collect the receipt. 75 PDAs have been procured, 12 of which have been dispatched to six traffic police stations
In a paradox of sorts, the city traffic police are spending Rs 10 crore to facilitate cashless payment of penalties. The exchequers’ money will arm police personnel with the latest variant of the personal digital assistant gadget, a payment tablet enabled with magnetic card swiping and receipt printing slots.
As many as 75 of these units have already been procured, 12 of which have been dispatched to six traffic police stations (two each), mainly in the CBD limits, to be used on a trial basis. Another 650 units are expected to reach the department by the end of April.
The high cost includes a five-year maintenance and support from the Hong Kong-based supplier of the gadgets, according to a source in the department.
Interestingly, Bengaluru city police equipped its men with Blackberry phones in 2008 amidst much fanfare. They had then spent Rs 1.3 crore to purchase 280 of the sophisticated mobile phones.
The department will now phase out the phones in favour of the PDA tablets.
The senior police officer revealed that the reason for the switchover is that Blackberry India no longer supports old handsets.
According to additional commissioner of police (Traffic) R Hitendra, the need for changing the devices had become inevitable. “Blackberry India headquarters has been shut down, because of which we were facing problems with the maintenance of their phones. That is why we adopted the new devices,” told Bangalore Mirror.
The new tablets will enable traffic cops to swipe debit or credit cards and issue receipts on the spot to traffic violators, to leave minimum room for arguments and bribery allegations.
This will also make Bengaluru traffic police the first traffic enforcement authority in the country to use payment tablets extensively. The official, however, added that spot payment of fines for petty traffic violations will continue for those violators who are yet to migrate to digital payment platforms. It was being speculated that post-demonetisation, city traffic police would hit the streets with card-swiping machines to collect fines, but talks to procure PDA tablets from Hong Kong-based company PAX Global Technology were already on then, so things didn’t change till now.
“Maintenance and connectivity are key factors in using these tablets. As far as connectivity is concerned, they will be connected to our main servers using the department’s cloud computing network. Our men on the field will use them almost like the Blackberry devices. They will throw up details about previous violations, cases booked and all other relevant details,” the source added.
The city traffic police booked over 15 lakh traffic violators and collected Rs 12.4 crore as penalty from them till February 28 this year. In 2016, the department booked over 91 lakh cases and collected Rs 66.9 crore from violators.