Hyderabad: 35,882 challans worth Rs 17 crore issued in three months

Rahul V Pisharody
Bombay high court, mumbai illegal hoardings, illegal hoardings, Bombay HC order, Mumbai municipal corporations, Mumbai news, indian express news

The CEC was set up on October 10, 2019, under the directorate of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management. (Representational)

Within three months of its inauguration, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation's Central Enforcement Cell (CEC) has issued 35,882 challans with penalities exeeding over Rs 17.18 crore (as of January 8, 2020) for offences that were previously overlooked as petty and sundry.

The offences include installing unauthorized flex boards, banners, and cut-outs, pasting wall posters, writing on walls, littering public spaces, unauthorized dumping of construction debris, garbage dumping on roads, open urination, and unauthorized hoardings, etc. The fine amounts vary between Rs 1,000 and Rs 25,000.

The CEC was set up on October 10, 2019, under the directorate of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management.

Calling the system in place as unique, Director of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management (EVDM), Viswajit Kampati said there is no scope for misuse, faulty challans or corruption.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, he said the enforcement officers on the field are required to click a photograph of the offence and upload it on the system. "Upon uploading the photo evidence of the violation, the system generates a unique ID for the offence. It will show the case details, address, GPS coordinates of the location and a QR code. The receiver of the challan can scan the QR code and verify it. The penalties are system-defined and not user discretionary. Fine amounts are collected only in cash at the head office to avoid any corruption," he explained.

An overwhelming response has, however, added to the workload. "Currently, we have 14 terminals at work. We need at least a hundred," he said.

The CEC has only assigned 9,133 challans of the total 35,882 and has realized Rs 63 lakh fine through voluntary payments. "We get 1,500 to 2,000 violations a day and with the available terminals, only 600 to 800 can be assigned each day. At present, violations are reported only by the enforcement officers. If we open it for all of GHMC officials and the general public, the server capacity will have to be increased by 100 times," he said.

The EVDM director added that the idea is not revenue generation. "A concept of deterrence is what we want to bring in. The aim is not the realization of challans which is why we are not going after the offenders to pay up," he said.

The EVDM will soon start issuing e-notices based on complaints posted on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms by adding four more terminals to the existing CEC.

Dial 100 and report Encroachment

The EVDM has received nearly 20 complaints regarding encroachment of public parks from greater Hyderabad in the last six months. Pursuing one such case of a park in Banjara Hills led to GHMC reclaiming a 1.6-acre land parcel, which is valued approximately Rs 160 crore.

By early next month, the Directorate of EVDM will set up an anti-encroachment cell (AEC) where people can use the police helpline - 'Dial 100' - and lodge complaints of illegal encroachments on lakes, parks, open spaces, and government lands, etc.

The officers concerned would then inspect encroachments based on the complaint filed by the citizens, following which action would be initiated accordingly, Kampati said.