CCTV and e-challans help rein in Pune’s unruly traffic

The linking of the e-challan system with the city’s CCTV camera network recently has reaped rich dividends and could well be a panacea to curb the city’s rampant traffic outlawry across its 28 traffic divisions in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, say authorities.

In the bustling city of Pune, an IT, education and entrepreneurial hub, an ugly spirit of traffic lawlessness is proving a challenge for the police to reckon with. With barely 1400-odd traffic personnel tasked to man a burgeoning city of more than 30 lakh vehicles (as per RTO statistics) across the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad townships, enforcing traffic discipline seems a Sisyphean task, according to officials.

With the new link-up, a traffic offender will not only receive an SMS detailing his violation, but also photo evidence of the same with a link directing him to the nearest police station where the penalty can be paid. “The rationale behind this facility [linking the e-challan system with CCTV cameras] is to reduce the burden on our meagre task force manning signals and help us go paperless while ensuring that no offender goes scot-free,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Pravin Mundhe. Presently, around 1,250-odd CCTV cameras are installed across the city, of which more than 200 have the options to pan, tilt and zoom. These cameras provide live feed to the main police control room. A screen-grab of a violation is culled from this footage as photographic evidence. “These photographs are saved online, and text messages are generated and sent to the cell phone number of the violator, along with the e-challan,” said Mr. Mundhe. Recently more than 1500 e-challans have been sent to traffic violators detected through CCTV cameras.