The traffic division of the Mumbai police has reversed a decision taken by former police commissioner Sanjay Pandey and resumed towing of vehicles in the city.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, additional commissioner of police (traffic) Mahesh Patil said: “We took a decision to restart towing as vehicle owners were not responding properly. Hence, we had to start towing again. We are observing that at some places, there is parking done in two or three lanes. During Ganeshutsav, towing helped us to keep vehicles moving. All our towing vehicles are back in service.”
The decision to ban towing of vehicles was taken by Pandey who is now in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate. He used to often claim that there was ‘huge’ corruption in towing of vehicles.
Towing was stopped after an oral order from Pandey.
Pandey had said, “On an average, each traffic division across Mumbai tows around 10 four wheelers and 20 two wheelers every day. There are 50 such traffic divisions in Mumbai. The data provided by the traffic department shows that 21 lakh motorists were fined for parking their vehicles in no parking zones in 2021. Of these, 90,450 vehicles were towed. 1.65 lakh people have been fined and approximately 100,000 vehicles have been towed so far in 2022.”
Meanwhile, officers from the traffic department had raised concerns over the implementation of this order during VIP movement. A senior traffic police officer said they are told to create a clean passage during any VIP movement to avoid threats.
According to the traffic police department, there are 55 towing vans across 50 traffic divisions in the city. A police constable, a driver and two-three other people are deputed with each towing vehicle.
Earlier, some other ‘controversial’ decisions taken by Pandey were overturned by his successor.