oppn parties Checking Vehicle Papers: People-Friendly Instructions From WB Government

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
Checking Vehicle Papers: People-Friendly Instructions From WB Government

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

In a move that is going to stop the harassment of vehicle owners and eradicate corruption in the police force, the West Bengal government has issued several instructions to all superintendents and commissioners of police that only a traffic policeman, accompanied by a motor vehicle inspector, will henceforth be empowered to check the papers of any vehicles for violations of traffic rules or in case of any doubt about any traffic or ownership related matter.

The roads in Kolkata and elsewhere in the state are full of home guards and civic volunteers. This class of road watchers (one cannot call them anything else) are there just to guide the traffic and perhaps prevent vehicles from blatantly flouting rules. But they are not empowered to either demand the papers of the vehicles or threaten to fine vehicle owners. They can just either click the vehicle image on their cellphones or note down the vehicle number and report any traffic violation to the relevant traffic guard.

But in order to exhort money from unsuspecting drivers and owners, these home guards and civic volunteers have of late started stopping vehicles and demanding money to "settle" cases of alleged traffic violations. This is completely illegal and the government has taken the present action after innumerable complaints of harassment from vehicle owners and transport unions.

The action came after the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had spoken about traffic police personnel extorting money from vehicle owners in East Midnapore about a month back. She had spoken about the harassment in the presence of DG Virendra and home secretary A Bandopadhyay. That had stirred the administration into reining in the juniors. But obviously that was not enough and hence the government has come out with this people-friendly instruction. This is another instance of the Mamata Banerjee government responding fast to complaints from the people.