It has been over two months since the traffic police towing vehicles — called Tigers — were taken off the road owing to a series of complaints, but the State Government is in no mood to reinstate them despite a revised plan being submitted during February-end.
With no hope for Tigers and the growing parking menace, the traffic police have resorted to sending notices after recording the offence through enforcement cameras and FTVR (Field Traffic Violation Report) devices issued to the traffic police on duty.
“We are using the available manpower to check on the parking menace on the busy roads and adjacent bylanes, which was somehow contained by the Tigers. Now, with the absence of Tigers, the patrolling traffic police are managing the show by issuing notices and recording offences through enforcement and FTVR cameras,” a senior police officer said.
The traffic police are also creating awareness using public awareness system about haphazard parking. However, the present manual system is not as effective, the police admitted.
In February this year, the Karnataka Government suspended the operations of towing vehicles following public outrage over a series of incidents of harassment from the staff. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai asked the traffic police to come out with revised policies and SOPs for towing vehicles.
Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda, after consulting DCPs, ACPs, PIs, and the public and traffic experts, came out with a revised plan and SOPs to ensure that the motorists are handled with sensitivity.
As per the revised plan, the staff should document all towing cases, both with photos and videos. Towing teams will have to make an announcement and see if the owner is around before towing the vehicle away. “If the owner arrives at the spot, officers must impose a no-parking fine and not tow the vehicle away. If people retaliate or try to assault them, towing staff must record the entire incident and take help of other officers or call the control room for reinforcement,” said a police officer.
Meanwhile, complaints of haphazard parking continue to pour in in the city.
One Twitter user wrote: “Next civil war in Bengaluru will happen due to parking nuisance. Road rage is nothing as compared to haphazard parking rages in residential locality.”
“Finding a parking spot in HSR on a weekday is like a treasure hunt. Most offices with little or zero on-premises parking take up majority of the parking spots free of cost for hours together,” wrote another.
Towing staff should document all cases with photos and videos
Towing teams will have to make announcement and see if the owner is around before taking the vehicle away
If owner arrives at the spot, officers must impose a no-parking fine and not tow the vehicle away
If people retaliate or try to assault them, towing staff must record the entire incident and take help of other officers or call control room for reinforcement