Tag Archives: Necklace Road

Rampant corruption in Hyderabad Traffic Police

HYDERABAD: Despite the claims of senior officers, collection of monthly ‘mamools’ (slang for corruption money) by traffic police from petty vendors is continuing unabated in the capital.
Vendors are being allowed to continue their business only after coughing up anywhere between Rs.400 to Rs.600 per month out of
their meagre earnings. If they fail to pay this amount they are forced to compensate police in kind or are being fined repeatedly. In
some instances, where the vendors try to evade their demands, the police literally chase these vendors away or seize their merchandise.
Police authorities can remove anything that causes obstruction to the vehicular traffic under Section 39(b) of Hyderabad City Police Act.

To guide the police, municipal authorities have specified areas where hawkers and pushcarts can be allowed by delineating Green, Amber and Red zones.
Green is a free zone where hawkers can be allowed to do business without any problem, Amber zone is an area where vendors will be allowed only on specific days and timings and Red is a restricted area where no business should be allowed.
Since not many people know these zones, some police personnel are threatening vendors that their wares will be seized even though they are in green zone while others are allowing vendors to operate even in red zone, a police personnel said.
Saifabad area, under which Necklace Road and adjoining areas fall, is placed under red zone. But even a casual visitor can see that the area has many pushcart vendors and hawkers. Some officials have specialised in formulating the exact amount that one has to pay and the days this amount should be collected,” he explained.
“Vendors would like to do their business on the roads where there is good traffic as they can expect better sales there. They sometimes obstruct traffic, but police personnel are cashing in on this eagerness among vendors to mint some money,” the official said.
But while some policemen are making quick moolah, it is the petty vendors who are in tight spot. “We hardly earn enough to feed our family even after struggling for whole day. With these demands from traffic police our earnings are now under a squeeze,” Mohammed Ishfaq a flower seller in old city said. The pressure for giving bribes has increased recently, he added.
Most vendors pointed out that enforcement authorities seize their pushcarts along with the goods, which are mostly perishable. “Once the cart is confiscated, it’s a Herculean task to get it back from the police station. Even after the pushcart is brought back, most of the goods get damaged resulting in losses,” a vendor argued. Rather than facing these hassles, vendors prefer to heed to the police demands, he said.
“Even bystanders can observe police taking away our goods for failing to pay the bribe. It has indeed become a common practice,” he rued.

Traffic violators get away by paying Rs. 50!

How many times did you go out without carrying your driving license or registration documents? Were you tense that you will have to cough-up substantial amount at the traffic police checkpoint?

If the increasing trend in the city is to be considered, you can get away with as little as Rs.50 for your ‘forgetfulness.’

‘Considerate’

While the traffic police is expending its energies and showing considerable enthusiasm in improving the enforcement of traffic rules, and in turn, reducing the traffic chaos and accidents in the city, a few ‘considerate’ policemen are making in the quick moolah on the field. And for these police, Rs. 50 has become a magic figure for all types of violations.

“I forgot to carry my driving license and was caught by traffic police at Prasad’s IMAX theatre. After a bit of haggling and pleading with the cops, they let me off after taking Rs.50,” an engineering final-year student Amruta V. said.

“The challan would have cost me about Rs. 250 along with some awkward questions from my parents. But I can easily manage Rs.50 out of my pocket money,” she says.

Steady rise

But while students like Amruta are being benefited by the leniency shown by the cops, the very incidence of police raking in the ill-gotten money is on a steady rise.

Areas like Necklace Road, Prasad’s IMAX, Begumpet and Chilkalguda crossroads are turning into hot spots for this type of operations held even under the supervision of Sub-Inspectors.

“As per law, a motorist has to carry valid documents and sometimes they do forget to carry them because of various reasons. In those circumstances, police have to issue a challan and ask motorist to pay the amount at nearest e-Seva centres. How can they demand money from motorists and still maintain that they are being considerate?” a software professional Rakesh Kumar questioned.

“I was caught thrice on the same day for not carrying my license and paid Rs.50 each time. It is the cops who first demand money and suggest that we can go Scot-free with less money. And if we ask for a challan instead, they usually book us for all sundry reasons that they can come up with,” he said.

The police version

But why do the police indulge in such acts in the first place? “There are people who try to cut some corners in all departments. The problem would be more as traffic police deal with public directly and have considerable discretionary power,” a senior police official said.

“Also the police who stand on roads and represent traffic police are often under-paid and under-qualified. We take strict action against persons who indulge in such practices as and when they come to our notice,” he added.

My article on The Hindu