Hyderabad

Fake news propels rush for traffic challan payments in Telangana

Sounds strange but a recent fake news is filling up Telangana government’s treasury, lighting up smiles on faces of officials!

On an average, Hyderabad traffic police (HTP) receive traffic fine amounts ranging from ₹20 lakh to ₹25 lakh a day. From Monday onwards, this had suddenly jumped to ₹29 lakh and reached a peak of ₹89 lakh on Friday. All this because of a fake news that went viral on social media!

The Centre has enhanced fine amounts for different road traffic violations by amending Motor Vehicles Act and the new rules are supposed to come into effect from today (September 1). Though the Telangana government is yet to make an announcement as to from when the enhanced fine amounts would be imposed, reports did rounds that from today (Sunday) enhanced fine amounts would come into force.

Explained | A complete list of new traffic violation fines under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019
 

Interestingly, from August 19 a fake news post started getting circulated on social media. It was in the form of an appeal claimed to have been issued by ‘Commissioner of Police, Traffic wing, Hyderabad. The appeal said it was better for people to pay all pending traffic challans as from September 1 even the old fines would be automatically calculated at the rate of the enhanced amounts. For example, for drunk driving the present fine amount is ₹2,000 while the enhanced sum is ₹10,000. The fake news suggested if any pending challan for drunk driving is not paid, from September 1 the vehicle driver has to pay ₹10,000 instead of ₹2,000. Apparently, this has worried many vehicle owners and drivers who have pending traffic challans.

 

By August 25, the fake news went viral on different social media platforms. Taking a note of the fake news, the Hyderabad traffic police even posted on their fb page on August 27 that it was fake news and not issued by them.

But by then, many worried persons started paying challans. Last Monday, the HTP counters in city received ₹28 lakh towards fine amounts. On Tuesday, it rose to ₹62 lakh and by Friday it was ₹89 lakh. “We had clearly stated that it was fake news on our fb page, but many believed the fake news, ” HTP chief Anil Kumar said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 11:33:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fake-news-propels-rush-for-traffic-challan-payments/article29311160.ece

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