PM Modi sets aside protocol on Pune visit due to Covid

Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a new trend during his one-day visit to Pune’s Serum Institute of India, which is in the final stages of manufacturing the vaccine. A day before Modi’s visit, his office informed the state government that there was no need for governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to remain present at the airport to receive him and also at places where the Prime Minister would visit.
As per protocol, whenever the President and PM visit a state, they are received and seen off by the governor and the CM. The PMO took the view that if the governor, CM and DCM are present in Pune to receive him, it would involve the movement of at least 200 police personnel since they have the highest Z-plus security cover.
In addition, the divisional commissioner and the district collector too remain present at the airport and at all the places where the PM is expected to visit. PMO took the stand that in view of the surge in cases in Pune, it would be best if minimum police personnel and officials were present. It is high time all protocol norms with regard to the visit of the President and PM as well as the CM at district places are reviewed and certain age-old practices are done away with. A former chief secretary was of the opinion that only essential staff should be assigned protocol duty.
E-challan fiasco
From the data of the Mumbai police traffic branch, it appears the much publicised e-challan system drafted by law-enforcing agencies to discipline traffic violators has failed to take off. It was found that in the last four years, the fine amount has crossed the Rs 290-crore mark and the chances of the traffic branch collecting the fine amount are bleak.
The challenge before joint commissioner (traffic), Yashaswi Yadav, will be to recover the fine amount and ensure Mumbaikars obey traffic rules. Ever since the introduction of the e-challan system for traffic violations, the onus has been on the vehicle owner to pay the fine.
But it has been observed that, by and large, vehicle owners evade payment. In many cases, it was found that e-challans had not been delivered. More shocking is the fact that two-wheeler owners are simply not bothered since they do not receive the e-challan as their e-mail addresses are not available with the traffic branch.
A senior IPS official suggested reverting to the old system which involved seizing the licence or clamping the vehicle on the spot.
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