Bangalore, Oct 06, 2017: Bangalore City Traffic Police has been ignoring guidelines and towing wrongly-parked vehicles without warning. They have not been giving people a chance to move their vehicles from No Parking zones; they tow the vehicle in the presence of the owner.
Venkatesh R, a student of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, KR Circle, said, “Bangalore City traffic police is not doing their job properly… two to three people come and randomly pick any vehicle. They load it in truck and won’t even do it carefully. Bikes would have scratches, broken mirrors. Petrol is stolen and they won’t even leave a ticket in place. So when the owner comes back, he won’t know if his vehicle was stolen or towed away.”
The standard operating procedure for towing a vehicle is that the police must click a picture of the wrongly parked vehicle, announce the vehicle number on loud speaker to alert the vehicle owner and in case the person does not turn up, tow the vehicle.
In several areas of the city– Marathahalli, Avenue Road, Jayanagar, and Lalbagh among others—third party contractors work with a traffic policeman to tow vehicles.
Vinay Kumar, at Jayanagar said his vehicle got towed on October 3, 2017. There were many other vehicles but only his vehicle was taken. As he was aware of the towing guidelines he asked the traffic policeman to show him the picture of his vehicle which he must have taken before towing it. But instead of answering him, the traffic policeman asked him to pay a fine of Rs. 750 if he wanted his vehicle released.
Bangalore Traffic Police has cancelled 20-30 contracts for not following the towing guidelines this year, so far.
Abhishek Goyal, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic (East), said, “Bangalore city traffic police shares the standard operating procedure with contractors, so they have to follow the guidelines. We have been receiving complaints on Facebook, Twitter and via email regarding the same and 20-30 contractors have already been suspended.” He says citizens should know the guidelines so that they can speak up if something wrong is happening.
Sidhesh Kumar, a contractor attached to the Cubbon Park traffic police station said that all the guidelines are being followed in Cubbon Park. But there are some areas in which contractors are not following the rules. He says he makes sure that it doesn’t happen in his area.
Abhinav M. U, an urban planner said, “Illegal towing is a critical issue in the city. Towing contractors are misusing their powers, so public should be aware of the guidelines. A major issue is the lack of awareness among the populace. It is your right to get your vehicle back. Policies and campaigns will be a lot of help. In fact the towing contracting companies should be transparent in their activities.”