Much to the dismay of city motorists, the ability to get one’s vehicle towed away unscratched is set to cost more.
The Mumbai traffic police recently acquired hydraulic towing vans which are capable of towing everything from two-wheelers to high-end cars without damaging them. 80 such vans will be in service by November this year.
While motorists unanimously welcomed the move, offenders will have to bear the brunt of higher towing charges.
Two-wheelers will have to pay a towing charge of Rs 200 instead of the earlier charge of Rs 100. Similarly, four-wheeler owners will have to shell out Rs 400 as opposed to the previous charge of Rs 200.
The unauthorized parking charge of Rs 200, which is applicable on top of the towing charge, will also be levied.
“The charges are hefty, but getting a vehicle towed is a rare occurrence for most. I’ll be happy to pay the hiked fine as long as I know that my car won’t be damaged during the process. The amount of money we have to spend on repainting or denting is way more than the ‘no parking’ charges. So I’ll prefer the hiked fine over the older towing vans any day,” said Sahil Anik, a Vile Parle resident.
The newer vans, equipped with the hydraulic cranes, can easily tow high-end BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi cars and SUVs among others.
The older vans could not tow these vehicles till now, because of which the department relied on the use of clamps. While the clamps were effective in terms of not inflicting any damage, they were redundant if the vehicle was blocking the road.
Even for the cars that could be towed, operators had to first unlock the car before towing it, causing damage and delay.
Every hydraulic towing van will also be fitted with a camera, GPS, public announcement system, searchlight and a POS terminal. The camera will capture the exact location and position from where the vehicle was towed. The information will subsequently be uploaded to a central server.
Motorists can either dial the traffic police helpline (8454999999) or check the Mumbai Traffic Police’s ‘MTP app’ to get the details of their towed vehicle.
“The hydraulic towing van is the best model adopted in several countries. It takes only a minute to pick up an illegally parked vehicle even if all four wheels are locked,” said joint commissioner, traffic, Milind Bharambe.
Traffic police has already started the training process for towing van staff who will be operating the vans.Back to latest news