Express News Service
HYDERABAD: Strange are the ways of the Hyderabad traffic police. When the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has fixed 70 kmph as the speed limit for vehicles with less than eight seats, 60 kmph for bikes and 50 kmph for autos in cities, the city police change the limits at will and fine those drivers who exceed the limits set by them. No one knows from where they draw their powers to amend the Central government rules but it is being done more frequently. At some places, one gets to see the speed limit being as low as 30 kmph and anyone who crosses it would get a challan for over-speeding. Though the youth do not give two hoots to such ridiculously low-speed limits, the law-abiding citizens do and sometimes, they cross the limit inadvertently when they fail to notice the new speed limits.
When Express approached the traffic police, to know as to how they could change speed limits, one official, on condition of anonymity, said: “We only do enforcement. The GHMC is in charge of setting up signposts, electric signals, construction of divide r s and speed breakers.” A GHMC source, however, said: “The GHMC does not fix the speed limits. We do as we are asked by the traffic police. The GHMC, after receiving the request from the traffic police, will attend to their requirement as sought. The GHMC bears the cost involved.” While the GHMC does what is necessary in the city, it only seems like the police in a way are relishing the fine amount, including the ‘user charges’ included in the fine amount.
A few also allege that the police have an amount of targets to complete, which is why the charges are being rubbed on the commuters turning them as violators, seemingly their penalty business cannot be erased. The recently appointed ACP Traffic, AV Ranganath, however, said that the States have the freedom to make amendments to the rules depending on the traffic. “We consult engineers to suggest us what should be the speed limit for which vehicle. We fix varying limits for different vehicles,” he said.