The Gujarat government recently informed the High Court, during a public interest litigation hearing seeking the establishment of virtual traffic courts in the state, that it is already in the process of implementing the One Nation, One Challan initiative.
What is One Nation, One Challan?
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways introduced the One Nation, One Challan initiative to bring together all relevant agencies, such as traffic police and the Regional Transport Office (RTO), onto a unified platform for seamless challan collection and data transfer. The integrated system entails detecting traffic violations through the CCTV network and acquiring the erring vehicle’s registration number through applications like VAHAN and SARATHI. Following this, an e-challan with the relevant penalty amount is generated and sent to the vehicle’s registered mobile number.
One Nation, One Challan in Gujarat
The One Nation, One Challan initiative has been operational in three commissionerate areas of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Surat since January 16, 2023, and is currently being implemented in Vadodara. The Gujarat government also submitted to the Gujarat HC that its maintenance contract with L&T for the CCTV network at Vadodara is undergoing renewal.
Virtual Traffic Courts in Gujarat
Virtual traffic courts are designed to eliminate the need for litigants to appear in person at court. If a challan amount is not paid within 90 days, the challan is automatically forwarded to a virtual court, and proceedings are initiated. Summonses are sent to the offender’s mobile phone, and if the fine remains unpaid, legal action will follow.
Designation of Virtual Courts in Gujarat
One court, namely court number 16 of Ahmedabad city sessions court, is in the process of being designated as a virtual court for the whole of Gujarat, which will handle ‘One Nation, One Challan’ cases exclusively.
According to a petition filed before the Gujarat HC, Surat city alone has issued over 49 lakh e-challans, accruing a fine of Rs 136 crore from April 2013 to August 2020. Of this amount, Rs 122 crore is yet to be recovered.
The implementation of One Nation, One Challan in Gujarat and the establishment of virtual traffic courts are significant initiatives aimed at simplifying and expediting the process of collecting challans and penalising traffic violators. These measures will not only aid in ensuring the smooth flow of traffic but also promote road safety and reduce the number of traffic-related incidents in the state.