BENGALURU: There was panic, confusion and long queues at ATMs after the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. But for traffic cops, Wednesday morning was work as usual – fining offenders.
But, whoever was caught – for helmetless driving, skipping a red light or driving dangerously – was seen handing over Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes. What is to be done? The motorists were out of change and Rs 100 notes.
R Hithendra, Additional CP Traffic, shrugs it away and says that the cops on duty have been given instructions. “We can’t collect the invalid notes. But the offenders will be issued a notice and they can pay the money later either through our website, Bangalore One counters or the single-window counter at the traffic headquarters (on Infantry Road).”
KC Kempaiah, a traffic ASI in Shivajinagar, says, “Since morning people have been giving notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. We didn't accept them and asked for notes of Rs 100. When they didn’t have the notes, we noted down their numbers to book the violation.”
Traffic cops near Vidhan Soudha, who did not want to be named, say that the discontinuation of the notes have not really affected their work.
“We are still collecting fines from motorists,” one says, “and most of them pay up without a fuss because its just Rs 100 for the common helmetless-driving. We catch the four wheelers for taking wrong turns and they are charged Rs 600... if they don’t have the money on them, we simply note down their numbers for a follow up.”
Zameer a commuter in Shivajinagar was stopped for not wearing a helment. He is unhappy that traffic cops are not accepting Rs 500 notes. “They should collect the currency from us because they belong to the government,” he says. “We said we are out of change but they didn’t believe us and we had to show our wallet to them.”
Ramaiah too was caught for not wearing a helmet. “Atleast the police shoudl collect old notes from the public, atleast for the first two days. How can we manage valid currency and change in such a short time?”