If you needed proof of the fact that Indians love discounts, look no further.
On Day 1 of the Karnataka government’s offer of a 50 percent discount on pending traffic fines across the state, it was raining money at the treasury.
A whopping ₹5.61 crore (₹5,61,45,000, to be precise) was collected as payment of fines for over two lakh traffic violation cases — the exact number being 2,01,828 — on Friday, 3 February.
All this in Bengaluru alone!
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Digital payments score big
The highest recovery of pending traffic violation fines came though digital payment gateway transactions, with ₹3.23 crore (₹3,23,68,900) coming through that route, closing over a lakh (1,04,273) pending cases.
And according to the Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP), their staff in the field successfully collected ₹2.17 crore (₹2,17,24,950 to be exact), closing 89,699 pending traffic violation cases.
The Traffic Management Centre (TMC) managed to collect ₹89,650 by closing 540 pending cases, while a citizen service centre, Bangalore-One, saw people paying fines to the tune of ₹16,21,600, closing 7,316 cases.
The Karnataka government offer a 50 percent discount to all citizens of the state on all pending traffic violation penalties as a one-time settlement offer is valid only until 11 February.
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Why the discount offer?
The decision came in the wake of a resolution passed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority on 27 January, requesting the State Transport Department to facilitate “justice for all” with regard to traffic fines.
In November last year, there was a Lok Adalat in which around 4.2 lakh traffic violation cases were disposed of as pre-litigation cases and ₹23 crore in the way of fines were collected.
While the ₹5.61 mopped up from Bengaluru as traffic violation fines may seem impressive, it is in fact just over one percent of the total outstanding dues.
According to police sources, around ₹530 crore is due in pending fines from traffic offenders across the state, of which ₹500 crore is pending from Bengaluru alone.
All the other districts of the states account for the remaining ₹30 crore.