Srinagar: Despite collecting a staggering Rs 100 crore from traffic violators over the last five years, the J&K Traffic Department has not purchased a single ambulance for the accident victims in these years.
This has sparked concerns about the management of resources by the department, especially given the rising number of traffic accidents in the region.
Over 1270 persons have died in different road accidents and over 8000 left injured in the last 5 years in Jammu division alone.
Besides that, at least 117 people lost their lives, while 1428 persons suffered injuries in different road accidents in rural Kashmir last year.
As per the information provided by the department under the RTI in response to an application filed by social activist M M Shuja, Traffic Police National Highway, Ramban, has realised a fine of over Rs 15 crore from violators in the last five years.
Similarly, Traffic Police City, Jammu, has realised a fine of over Rs 38 crore and Traffic Police Rural Jammu has collected over Rs 16 crore fine.
In Kashmir division, Traffic Police City South, Srinagar, collected nearly Rs 16 crore while Traffic Rural Kashmir has realised a fine of Rs over 5 crore in 2022.
As per the official data, both the Traffic Departments of J&K have not purchased a single ambulance in these years.
However, the department has three cranes, two 10-tonne cranes, one pick and hydra crane at TPL Jammu and three small off-road cranes.
Besides these, Rural Traffic Kashmir has one hill crane and two towing cranes.
Police officials in the Traffic Department said that it could not take the amount of challan fee and purchase ambulances.
"Yes, the Traffic Department should have its own ambulances. The department had earlier even requested the government to purchase two to three ambulances which will remain with the Traffic Police Department but till now nothing has been done so far," he said.
However, IGP Traffic, J&K, Vikramjit Singh told Greater Kashmir that the mandate and training of the Traffic Department was not to treat victims of traffic accidents.
“That is a specialised job done by the health authorities,” he said.
Singh said that the Traffic Police was usually the first responder in traffic accidents. “We have started the process of training all the traffic personnel as first responders in traffic accidents along with provision of a first responder kit so that they can provide basic life support to the accident victims till the medical personnel arrive," he said.