Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Traffic Police and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have joined hands to come up with a digital whip to crack down on those, especially traders, encroaching the city’s pavements and public spaces.
The crackdown will be with the help of a new system, titled GHMC e-Enforcement, which has been developed by the Traffic Police. The e-Enforcement will have Traffic personnel being given tablets, with which they can click photographs of encroachments, fill details of encroachers, including Aadhar and Trade Licence Number (TIN) and send it straight to designated GHMC officials. These officials can immediately grant electronic approval and book cases, after which Traffic personnel can issue a penalty ticket to the encroacher.
The follow-up action, including filing of a charge sheet if the penalty is not paid within a specified timeframe or if the encroachment is not cleared, will be done by GHMC using photographic evidence gathered by Traffic personnel.
The objective is to clear pavements of encroachments in commercial areas by shopkeepers, according to AV Ranganath, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic-II.
The existing system is that Traffic police books cases under 39 (b) of the Hyderabad City Police Act, imposing a fine of Rs.500. The e-Enforcement concept is expected to ensure stricter follow up action, with concrete evidence that cannot be tampered with. The concept has been framed based on Section 402 of the GHMC Act, as per which the encroacher can be fined up to Rs.5,000 or imprisoned for one month or both.
The focus will initially be on permanent establishments that surreptitiously encroach upon pavements and public spaces in front of them. Photographic evidence of the encroached area will be augmented with latitude/longitude co-ordinates.
“Such geo-tagging of the location prevents tampering of the evidence,” Ranganath said, adding that GHMC officials authorized to give electronic approval and book cases would be Deputy Commissioners, Assistance City Planners and Assistant Medical Officers.
The concept is expected to deter first time encroachers and also repeat offenders. There were 600 such repeat offenders, who were booked more than 10 times in 2016, officials said.