VISAKHAPATNAM: The city traffic police are not worried about either the increasing traffic or shortage of manpower. But they dread to think of collecting fines from motorists who dish out `1,000 and `500 notes which are turning out to be counterfeits. The police, who are failing to identify the counterfeit notes on the spot, are being forced to shell out the amount from their pockets to deposit the fine amount with the department. Huge amounts in the form of fines have been collected by the traffic police in recent months.
From the special drive against the no-parking norms alone, the Traffic Department had collected over `6 lakh in less than a week. While booking a case, the police give a challan to the violator and keep a copy with them. The final amount collected at the end of the day is deposited in the bank after submitting a report to the head office. The counterfeit notes come to light when the bank authorities rejected some of the `500 and `1,000 notes. As all the collected money is deposited in the bank station-wise, the on duty traffic SIs or CIs concerned are said to be responsible and pay from their pockets.
The police said that while writing the challans, it is difficult to find out whether a note is genuine or fake at busy junctions. “It may be a busy junction or it may be a special instant drive in the nights. Our main responsibilities are checking violations as well as monitoring the area without leading to traffic disruptions. In such cases, we would have to hurry and the authenticity of the notes escapes our attention,” said a traffic inspector from the city.
Sources said that the police had received ounterfeit notes for an amount of `10,000. They also said that the notes seem to mostly enter from Bangladesh and West Bengal. ADCP Traffic K Mahendra Patrudu said that they had asked the inspectors and sub-inspectors to note down the number of the `500 or `1,000 denomination notes given by the violator on the back of the challan produced, right on the spot along with the contact details of the violator. They could contact the violator in case the note is found to be counterfeit. He also said that in the e-challan system, the case of counterfeit notes will not arise.
However, one senior police official from the Traffic Department said that the police had been trained to identify a counterfeit note within a fraction of a second and that it is their responsibility to identify them. Besides, there were practical difficulties about noting down the number of currency notes and contact details. The department faces staff shortage and the drives are conducted in crowded areas, where density of traffic is high, the official added.