|Traffic Deptt pays through 'nose' to private crane owners for lifting vehicles…|
|Despite earning huge revenue, why Govt hesitant to buy own cranes….?|
|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Oct 25: Notwithstanding facing a heavy financial burden in paying through nose to the vehicle lifting cranes owned by private people, J&K Traffic Department is 'avoiding' to purchase its own machines and cranes which are used for towing away wrongly parked vehicles in the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu. From the year 2012-2015, Traffic department paid whopping amount of Rs 1,45,874,039 to the owners of the cranes, 2015 having seen highest and lavish amount of Rs 49,36,884.
Sources said it is unexplainable by one and all in the Traffic Department as to why they are hesitating to buy its own cranes and continue for the last many years outsourcing this to a private owner based in Kashmir Valley. Authorities simply put it in the way that by outsourcing the department is able to improve efficiency(in private hands) in terms of its functioning in lifting the cranes, carrying these to destinations, etc, besides what they contend as minimizing maintenance and operational costs.
However, the figures of the amount paid to the private owners are enormous enough to give a jolt to anyone but the Traffic department where the authorities are either complacent about this avoidable expenditure or deliberately pushing 'status quo' scenario to benefit the owners of cranes, sources said while explaining how much of earnings are wasted by paying it to the owners of the cranes. Sources said for certain reasons, the authorities at the helm all these years have not cared to prepare any proposal for procurement of the cranes which could become own assets of the Police Department and at the same time serve the functionality purpose of lifting the wrongly parked vehicles.
There are at present 8 private cranes deployed in the twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar and some other adjacent towns which are utilized for lifting of wrongly parked vehicles. The cranes are owned by New Nishat Enterprises, a private agency based in Nishat Srinagar, sources said. Pertinently, these cranes cannot lift or do not have capacity to lift heavy vehicles like SUVs, leave alone big ones which too are frequent offenders in so far as this violation is concerned, a fact which suggests that challans and compounds are imposed only on small vehicles.
The crane owners get a sizable amount from the total challan or compound imposed on the vehicle owners. For instance, if an amount of Rs 600 is realized by the department from the violators for wrong parking, the crane owner gets Rs 242, per lift, sources said. The department has made a mockery of procuring the services of even these private cranes, sources said, adding that the procedure so adopted is just for the formality sake as the crane owners despite so called 'proper' tendering process as they have evolved a system wherein the private vehicle owner gets further extension after every 11 months on 'mutual agreement basis'.