Some weeks ago, Anna Hazare sat on a ‘dharna’ to get the Jan Lokpal Bill introduced in the Parliament. After 2-3 days of national drama, the government had to accede to his demand.
The Lokpal Bill is supposed to be the first step towards ending corruption in India. Corruption runs like blood through the veins of administrative & political class of India. It may be as big as passing a large-scale government contract or as small as bribing the traffic cop.
The bribe giver & bribe taker – both are equally responsible for this malice. So any solution to tackle corruption has to be two-fold – fix the problem from bribe givers’ side AND from bribe takers’ side.
I can think of some possible steps which can be taken to solve the problem of bribery in case of traffic cops.
Step 1: Allocate hoardings at prominent junctions which will show the traffic rules violations & their fines. Most often, traffic cops take ANY amount in the name of signal cutting. Official fine for signal cutting is only Rs 100/- But these cops charge anything like Rs 200 or so.
Step 2: Raise an RTI query with the RTO & demand the list of traffic rules violations & their respective fine charges. This RTI application can be done for Rs 10/- & you SHOULD get a reply within 3 weeks. Very often I have seen cops asking for vehicle’s papers. Now who on this planet carries vehicle papers with him everyday? Recently I learnt that asking for PUC by traffic cop is not a rule. And even if thats a rule and a person does not have one, the cop is supposed to give him a warning & allow him to leave (i.e. without any fine).
Step 3: Install CCTV cameras at all major junctions which can constantly monitor the surroundings. This can be used to find traffic cops accepting bribes. Agreed this can be tampered but mere presence is enough to keep the cops at bay.
Step 4: Stop congregation of traffic cops in one particular junction. More often I have seen half a dozen traffic cops in small-small junctions. Add to that some 3-4 constables & a mazda van. Why do they need so much machinery to just regulate traffic flow? that too when traffic signals are doing their job. This mob outsizes normal citizens & gives them an opportunity to harass the people.
Step 5: Traffic cops should undergo yoga session 3 days in a week. This will keep them grounded & make them selfless (hopefully) 🙂
I guess this 5-step program can check day-to-day corruption levels to some extent.
What do you think ? write a line or two in the comments section & let me know…