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Old 10th November 2014, 14:01   #1
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Default Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Hi All

Swayed by our new PM Mr. Modi, I decided to take some responsibility of reporting wrongdoings to the civic authorities so that they can do a better job of nipping things in the bud before they become big problems. The problem that I am facing is that these civic agencies are more content with passing the buck than acting straightaway.

The incident goes like this- On saturday morning (8th Nov), I spotted an unauthorised food stall come up on the footpath beside a road next to my house. Because of this food stall vehicles started halting at this spot and therefore blocking the flow of traffic. I took a picture of this stall and posted it on Delhi Traffic Police facebook page informing them about the problem and also giving them the exact address of this food stall. I also told them that if this is not taken care of soon, a full fleged unauthorised market will come up here. The response that I got from them was that I should report this to the local police station. I was a little surprised by their response and asked them why dont they co-ordinate with the local police station on their own. I also asked what if I do not report it to the local police station. Would they let it go on even though they know about this wrong doing? By not taking any action on their own were they not passing the buck? To my utter shock, the moderator deleted my comment. I persisted and posted my comment again only to see the comment being deleted again. What surprises me is that the traffic police doesn't need anyone to file a complaint at local police station for jumping red light/illegal parking etc. before they issue a challan yet when I am giving them proof of an encroachment, they dont want to act.

We want citizens to take the responsibility for their cities. We want to maximise the use of technology for effective governance. Yet, when citizens do want to act responsibly, the authorities dont extend their support.

Would be great if you can share your own good/bad experiences on reporting incidents on the facebook/other social media pages of respective traffic police. Would also be helpful if you can suggest ways to escalate such complaints.

Mods- I could not identify the most appropriate section to post this topic so please feel free to move it to the most relevant section. Apologies
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Old 10th November 2014, 14:18   #2
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

I don't have complete information but I understand the working of Govt dept to an extent. My comments:

1) Evicting unlawful encroachment is civil case & comes under police. It is beyond the scope of traffic police roles & responsibilities. They are well within their rights to refuse to look into this.

2) AFAIK, anybody can setup a stall on footpath & is perfectly legal. This comes under protection of livelihood.

In fact even civil police can't help here. If I am right, the town corporation has to deal with this. Either the area must be declared as 'no-vending zone' or must have good reason why that vendor must be evicted.
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Old 10th November 2014, 14:44   #3
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
I don't have complete information but I understand the working of Govt dept to an extent. My comments:

1) Evicting unlawful encroachment is civil case & comes under police. It is beyond the scope of traffic police roles & responsibilities. They are well within their rights to refuse to look into this.

2) AFAIK, anybody can setup a stall on footpath & is perfectly legal. This comes under protection of livelihood.

In fact even civil police can't help here. If I am right, the town corporation has to deal with this. Either the area must be declared as 'no-vending zone' or must have good reason why that vendor must be evicted.
From what I can see about Bangalore, Karnataka Police Act 1963, Section 92 (G) says whoever causes obstruction on any foot-way, or drives, rides or leaves any animal or drives, drags or pushes any vehicle thereupon shall be punished with a fine. (http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.go...t&view=article). Footpath vending is classified as a traffic offense if you look at this link.

No where does it say that you can encroach upon a footpath if you want to earn livelihood. I pay my tax and I have a right to an encroachment free footpath.
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Old 10th November 2014, 15:16   #4
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

This is not new.
such facebook pages only issues chalans for basic things like, red light jumping, parking at wrong locations, no helmets etc. I have never seen any action being taken on those pics where people posted photographs of Policemen riding without helmets.

Sometime back even i posted a photograph of a Maruti Swift VXI, parked in my society for over 6 months. the car seems to be a case of theft and dumping it there till people forget about it.
I posted it on Delhi Traffic police's page with photograph and exact location, the reply I received was "Kindly contact Local police'

I also uploaded it in Delhi police page and their android app, they pointed me to another direction

After being redirected 3-4 times, I gave up.

BTW: encroachment of Footpaths in anyway is criminal offense.
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Old 10th November 2014, 15:25   #5
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

There is something called footpath vendors' right to livelihood. The courts have in the past mentioned this. We have laws which are contradictory. It also helps livelihood of people who collect money from such footpath vendors

Last edited by srishiva : 10th November 2014 at 15:27.
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Old 10th November 2014, 15:34   #6
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Does this footpath vendors right apply to a fresh encroachment or to an encroachment which has been there for ages? how is it that these rights vanish when it comes to encroachments on footpaths near courts, police stations, government buildings? If these rights exist only for old encroachments then why let fresh encroachments come up? Under what law was Delhi cleaned of such encroachments during CWG?
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Old 10th November 2014, 15:54   #7
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Bangalore Traffic police do respond effectively if you manage to get some publicity to your post.
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Old 10th November 2014, 16:41   #8
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Wow, the encroach-ers actually have rights to encroach?

What about the right to have a safe footpath as a pedestrian? Their livelihoods are more valuable than pedestrians' lives? Gives 'banana republic' a whole new meaning. But then I live in a city that legalizes illegal structures for money to meet (outlandish to begin with) annual revenue targets, so everything is fair game I suppose. Goes without saying the area's beat cop will get his 'hafta'.
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Old 10th November 2014, 16:49   #9
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

The Mumbai Traffic Police Facebook page used to work like clockwork when it was newly started. People were posting pictures of offenders ( Number plate, No helmet etc etc) and they were getting notices home, police officers without helmets were getting suspended. News media caught up with all this and everyone was a citizens reporter. Soon in a month or two, the craze died down, police stopped caring about their own facebook page and it was the end. Now its been more than a year they have posted anything on their facebook page.

Modi cannot change India unless Indians want to change themselves. Highly doubt the second thing ever happening.
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Old 10th November 2014, 21:52   #10
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Street vendors have their rights, not just in India, but in most countries. I learnt this from hearsay when we had street vendor problem near our office. Now that place is now a mini food court
Quote:
Originally Posted by interest View Post
From what I can see about Bangalore, Karnataka Police Act 1963, Section 92 (G) says whoever causes obstruction on any foot-way, or drives, rides or leaves any animal or drives, drags or pushes any vehicle thereupon shall be punished with a fine.
Yes, traffic police can make a judgement call and fine the street vendor Rs 100, as per law. Vendors pay the fine or pay mamool/hafta and get on with their business. Note that street vendor are covered by separate act by law. Not the traffic rule you have quoted.
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Under what law was Delhi cleaned of such encroachments during CWG?
Street vending comes under the purvey of municipal corporation. They can declare any road, area as 'no-vending' zone and remove all vendors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Wow, the encroach-ers actually have rights to encroach?
It isn't encroachment as per law, since the vendor is expected to remove his/her wares at close of day.

PS: This is as per my understanding. If you have any way of removing these vendors, please share. Till now any effort to remove these vendors on street (in any part of country) has failed.
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Old 10th November 2014, 22:25   #11
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Hyderabad Traffic police respond quickly. You can post any wrongdoing even by police authorities. Netizens post pics as proof on HTP facebook page. That is enough for HTP (Hyderabad Traffic Police) to issue an e-challan against the said offender.
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Old 10th November 2014, 22:37   #12
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

We've seen so many posts where people complain on their websites; only a fraction get resolved.

I bet, social media channels are for these agencies to clean up their image rather than really engage with the public.

I don't blame them rightaway: it's so easy for someone to just type a few words and lodge a complaint. I'm sure it is a very tedious process to actually verify the authenticity of all the posts.

On a related note, I'd be comfortable reporting incidents (unless life-threatening or dangerous) if it was anonymous.

Given how your every move on social media is documented and linked across all platforms (social and professional), it's quite the risk to have your whole life opened up through a post on a public forum.
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Old 10th November 2014, 22:46   #13
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Street vendors have their rights, not just in India, but in most countries........


.......It isn't encroachment as per law, since the vendor is expected to remove his/her wares at close of day........
I don't disagree with people having a right to make a living, but encroaching an already endangered resource is not the solution. You know as well as I do how these 'temporary' ventures turn permanent over time.

I've tried reporting such instances to local police, but more often than not, the hawker is actually protected (and harassed simultaneously) for a small daily/weekly/monthly fee by the same police. Higher ups in the department may agree to take action, but the ground force this task eventually gets delegated to is busy making a fast buck.

P.S. I believe the law (or whatever it is) is really dodgy and needs to be looked at. Going by the 'removing wares at end of day' logic, I can encroach pretty much any spot I want as long as plan to leave EOD and nobody can take away my 'right' to do so. Doesn't sound right at all.
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Old 11th November 2014, 09:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Note that street vendor are covered by separate act by law. Not the traffic rule you have quoted.

PS: This is as per my understanding. If you have any way of removing these vendors, please share. Till now any effort to remove these vendors on street (in any part of country) has failed.
Check this link out- http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.go...t&view=article . Search for Footpath Vendor on this page and see if it is specifically listed under traffic offense or not. I had posted this link earlier as well.

There is only one way to get these encroachments removed- publicise the hypocrisy of these civic authorities. While all the areas of a city where the "VIPs" live are clean and encroachment free, the areas for commoners are full of encroachments. How is it that civic agencies manage that?

BTW, while food vendors are present in almost all countries, point to be noted is that they usually dont make the footpath dirty and they usually dont create a traffic nuisance in those countries. I speak from what I have experienced in a lot of European countries and even in countries like Singapore and Thailand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
We've seen so many posts where people complain on their websites; only a fraction get resolved.

I bet, social media channels are for these agencies to clean up their image rather than really engage with the public.

I don't blame them rightaway: it's so easy for someone to just type a few words and lodge a complaint. I'm sure it is a very tedious process to actually verify the authenticity of all the posts.

On a related note, I'd be comfortable reporting incidents (unless life-threatening or dangerous) if it was anonymous.

Given how your every move on social media is documented and linked across all platforms (social and professional), it's quite the risk to have your whole life opened up through a post on a public forum.
I agree with all of your points especially the one on anonymous reporting. Although social media creates a trail, it would be safer if after you report, the owner of that forum (Delhi Traffic Police in this case) managed the co-ordination with the local police station without involving you any further. Asking you to go to the local police station is a sure shot way of getting identified (residence, phone number etc. which may be needed to file complaint).

Last edited by Eddy : 11th November 2014 at 12:47. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the same thread.
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Old 11th November 2014, 10:28   #15
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Default re: Are Traffic Police FB pages effective for reporting violations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by interest View Post
Check this link out- http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.go...t&view=article . Search for Footpath Vendor on this page and see if it is specifically listed under traffic offense or not. I had posted this link earlier as well.
Traffic police don't have any authority on street vendors. All they can say is whether traffic is hindered or not. If it is hindered, then pay a fine of Rs 100. Nothing more. That is probably the reason why you were requested to visit local police station.

The act I was talking about is THE STREET VENDORS (PROTECTION OF LIVELIHOOD AND REGULATION OF STREET VENDING) ACT, 2014. This is the latest one passed earlier this year.
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