BENGALURU: Police stations in the city are struggling to dispose of seized vehicles that have piled up over time.
According to data available with Express, a total of 2,931 vehicles are gathering dust at law and order police stations and about 435 at traffic police stations. They have been pending to be cleared from January.
Of these, some have court cases pending. For some others, owners who have claimed insurance no longer want the vehicles.
Meanwhile, the value of these vehicles is depreciating. If chassis and engine numbers have been erased, tracking down owners is hard, said an official. In such cases, the police are required to prepare a list of vehicles, obtain a court order, evaluate them with the regional transport officer’s consent and announce an auction date in the media.
This usually turns out to be a long-winded process, and with over 3,000 vehicles to be disposed of, the police are contemplating extending the deadline, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem.
Additional Commissioner of Police (West) C H Pratap Reddy said seized vehicles often serve as evidence in court. “Such trials take time, and the vehicles involved cannot be disposed of till the court proceedings are completed.”
Vehicles used in crimes like murder, robbery and mugging usually lie unused in stations the longest as these cases go on for years, added Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Labhu Ram.
But in traffic police stations, vehicles are typically cleared faster, Reddy said. However, all police stations — traffic and law and order — have been instructed regularly at their fortnightly meetings that files have to be sent to court to speed up the process.
“The police also have to
do their bit without delay,” he said.
Spillovers Cause Traffic Snarls
In stations like DJ Halli, Bharathi Nagar, RT Nagar and Indiranagar, vehicles overflow to the adjoining pavements and streets, affecting pedestrian and vehicle movement.
“I brought this to the notice of the BBMP Commissioner in 2013-14, but there was no response,” said DJ Halli corporator Sampath Raj. “I even raised it in the BBMP council. Ambulances suffer as it becomes difficult for other motorists to make way for them.”
The problem is common to JJ Nagar, Cottonpet, Byatarayanpura police stations as well.
On Broadway Main Road in Shivajinagar, navigating to and from the nearby TTMC for BMTC buses is a tough task, and the pile up of vehicles at the station makes it more tiresome, putting drivers, and passers-by at risk.
Doctors say accumulation vehicles can turn breeding ground for rats and bandicoots. Rodent-laden bacterial infections like Leptospirosis could spread if the rats and bandicoots come in contact with eatables and utensils. So provision should be made to keep seized vehicles away from crowded places, medical experts advise.
Vehicles to be cleared, pending from January
*435 vehicles across traffic police stations are yet to be cleared