Seized vehicles left to rust at police stations for lack of secure space

Over 3,500 to 4,000 unclaimed vehicles lying at the 23 city police stations, say police
Seized motor vehicles left unclaimed left in the open at Three Town police station in Visakhapatnam on Saturday | Express
Seized motor vehicles left unclaimed left in the open at Three Town police station in Visakhapatnam on Saturday | Express

VISAKHAPATNAM: Because of space crunch, lakhs of seized vehicles under various cases in the city are left to rot in open place near the police stations. The police station premises become junkyards. The police find no solution to the seized vehicles as hardly anyone turns up to claim those vehicles and the response they get during auction is also poor. Over 3,500 to 4,000 vehicles are reportedly lie at the city police stations.
Going round the Three Town, Four Town or Two Town police stations, one finds hundreds of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws and jeeps. All the vehicles were seized for violation of rules, in accident cases, theft cases and a few others.

“If a vehicle is seized for violation of rules, they would be taken back by the owners in a week. But in case of accidents, thefts and missing cases when most of the bikes are seized, none turns up to claim them. The vehicles which we see lying for a long time are those seized during crimes like snatching, robbery or either met with accidents,” said ADCP (Traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu.

Sources said that the seized vehicles have to be taken care of until the owner claims or they are auctioned as per norms. Due to lack of space, the vehicles are left in open without proper care and many vehicles get dilapidated. Sources also added that around 70 per cent of the seized vehicles are two-wheelers.
“Hardly anyone comes to police station to claim vehicle. Moreover, a few owners have to wait till court disposes of the case. Normally, verdict in some cases takes a long time to come and then the disposal order is given to the vehicle, after which we can  auction it,” said a senior police officer.

Sources said that the court takes very long time to dispose of cases. By that time, most of the vehicles become defunct. Though the police call for auction, there will not be many takers though they can get the vehicles dirt cheap.

“Stigma stops many people from buying these vehicles which met with accidents or involved in crimes. Most of the people who come for auctions are scrap dealers,” said a Traffic police inspector from the city.
According to police, the number of vehicles seized depends on the area of the police station. The Three Town, Four Town, Kancharapalem and One Town police stations   in the city have more number of seized vehicles on their station premises.

In the 23 police stations in the city, there are reportedly 3,500 to 4,000 vehicles.
Heavy vehicles
Due to lack of space, the traffic police often think twice before seizing cars or heavy vehicles. Sources said that there is not much of a problem with two-wheelers as concerned police stations could manage, but when it comes to three wheelers or four-wheelers, the issue comes to the forefront. In a recent special drive, the police have seized over 400 autos in two days.
Most of the auto-rickshaw drivers paid fine and those who didn’t, the police department seized and towed them to the police barracks ground.
As per police officers, there is no solution for the issue at present as the department neither has proposals to acquire large tract of land or extend area near the police stations.

Theft threat
Even though the vehicles are in the vicinity of police stations, there will be many theft cases. Such incidents occur frequently at Three Town and Four Town police stations. Valuable  parts such as batteries and mirrors from the auto-rickshaws and cars are stolen in the nights.

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The New Indian Express