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Mumbai: BMC, traffic police to work in tandem on ‘Operation Khatara’

Mumbai: BMC, traffic police to work in tandem on ‘Operation Khatara’ | representative pic

Mumbai: After a gap of two years, the BMC along with the Mumbai traffic police will once again start ‘Operation Khatara’ in the city. The decision was taken in a meeting held between the senior civic officials and traffic police on Tuesday. Accordingly, a nodal officer will be appointed for each ward and subsequently joint action against abandoned vehicles will start in the next two weeks. 

Besides being a potential breeding ground for diseases, khataras also obstruct traffic and give shelter to anti-social elements. Till August 2020, the BMC used to send notice to the owner, asking the person to remove the abandoned vehicle from the street. If it wasn’t cleared in the given period, the BMC auctioned the vehicles. However, during Covid, civic employees were busy, so the reins of ‘Operation Khatara’ was handed over to the traffic police.

Notices to 2,381 vehicle owners issued after pandemic

“Though the action against abandoned vehicles was taken by the traffic police during Covid, their main focus was on clearing the vehicles parked in no-parking areas. After the pandemic came under control, we started receiving complaints against khataras. We then issued notices to 2,381 vehicle owners and seized 782 vehicles. However, there was no coordination earlier (between the BMC and traffic police). Hence, to develop communication between the two departments, we will now undertake ‘Operation Khatara’ along with Mumbai traffic police,” said a senior civic official. 

The BMC is yet to finalise the fines to be collected from owners of abandoned vehicles who respond to the notices. The seized vehicles are dumped in godowns of the respective wards. The BMC has 24 vehicles to tow four-wheelers and 12 for pulling two-wheelers. In 2018, the BMC had appointed an external agency which was to function like a “call centre” to register citizens’ complaints against khataras, and pass it on to the individual wards. 

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