Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis uses a couple of bullet-proof Tata Safari SUVs for road travel. The heavily armored SUVs used by the CM have been fined Rs. 13,000 by the Mumbai police. However, neither the CM nor the state government is yet to pay the fine. This information was revealed through an application filed under the Right To Information (RTI) act. An RTI activist called Shakeel Ahmed filed this application, seeking traffic violation details of the chief minister’s cars.
What were the violations?
The armored Tata Safari SUVs used by the CM were found to be speeding on multiple occasions on the Bandra Worli sealink. Speed traps of the Mumbai police set up on this stretch captured the traffic violations, and automatic electronic fine slips (e-Challan) was generated.
While one Tata Safari carrying the chief minister violated the speed limit 5 times between January and August 2018, the other SUV exceeded the speed limit 8 times. In total, there were 13 speed limit violations, amounting to a fine of Rs 13,000 (Rs. 1,000 per offence).
However, the fine of Rs. 13,000 has yet to be paid by the chief minister or his office, and there’s a valid reason for this.
According to the Mumbai traffic police, the chief minister’s convoy is exempt from the speed limit that every other citizen/road user of the state has to follow. A statement released by the Mumbai traffic department noted the following,
Traffic challans are auto generated through deployed speed cameras. Convoy vehicles of the CM are exempted from speed limits due to security threat perception. Technical glitches in the software which generates e-challans were being rectified.
After many accidents occurred on the Bandra-Worli sealink due to speeding, Mumbai traffic police officials installed 40 high-tech cameras in January this year. These cameras automatically capture and read the number plates of speeding vehicles. These cameras are also programmed to automatically send an e-challan to the offender. Ever since they were installed, over half of all speeding offences in Mumbai have come from the sealink, whose speed limit is 80 Kmph for four wheelers and 60 Kmph for two wheelers.