Bhubaneswar: A day after traffic rule violators in Gurugram made news for being fined hefty sums that exceeded the value of their vehicles, an auto-rickshaw driver in Bhubaneswar had a similar tale to share.
Haribandhu Kahanr, a middle-aged auto-rickshaw driver, was stunned on Wednesday to receive a challan of Rs 47,500 for violating a number of traffic rules under the new law that came into effect on September 1. He was caught by traffic policemen between Acharya Vihar and Jaydev Vihar in Bhubaneswar during a routine check of vehicles plying on the stretch.
Kahanr said he had violated no other traffic rule except being under the influence of alcohol at the time, adding that his second-hand vehicle cost him Rs 25,000.
According to the challan, Kahanr was fined Rs 500 for general offence, Rs 5,000 for allowing an unauthorised person to drive the vehicle, Rs 5,000 for driving without a valid licence, Rs 10,000 for drunken driving, Rs 10,000 for violating air and noise pollution norms, Rs 5,000 for using a vehicle without registration and fitness certificate, Rs 10,000 for using a vehicle without permit or violating permit conditions, and Rs 2,000 for plying without insurance.
“I had bought this second-hand auto-rickshaw for Rs 25,000 about a week ago. I graduated long ago, but couldn’t find any sort of employment. I bought the auto to earn a living. I have all the necessary documents of this vehicle,” he said.
Kahanr, who was asked to deposit the fine amount of Rs 47,500 at the Driving Testing Track at Chandrashekharpur in Bhubaneswar, said he would not be able to pay the sum.
“I do not understand why I was asked to pay such a huge amount as fine. I have not violated any rule except driving after having alcohol. I have all the necessary documents and they are all updated, but I have them at home. I do not keep them in my auto as they often get stolen,” he said.
Accusing the traffic police of arbitrarily adding up the fine amounts, he said, “I admit that I have committed the mistake of driving after having had alcohol and I am willing to pay the fine for it.”
“The auto-driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol when he was stopped by traffic policemen on the road. He was caught after jumping a traffic signal. He failed to produce the documents pertaining to his vehicle and his driving skills. He was fined Rs 47,500 for all the different violations,” said Bhubaneswar Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amaresh Panda. “Traffic rule violators will have to pay fines. This is very clear.”
The traffic police in Gurugram on Tuesday had issued challans for fines of Rs 32,500 and Rs 23,000 to an auto-rickshaw driver and a Scooty rider, respectively, for multiple violations. The traffic police in Bhubaneswar has collected fines worth Rs 2.13 lakh from in the city on the first day after the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 came into force.
(With inputs from Prabir Pradhan)