Traffic Sentinel Scheme Creating a Massive Outbreak in the state, Even the Legislatures of a Ruling Party Fighting amongst themselves in the Assembly Hall over the issue of traffic sentinel calling it a complete failure. The BJP Legislature Micheal Lobo said that the Sentinels have not received their remuneration till date. That means the Sentinels are doing all the work besides getting the beating from the people and still not getting paid for their handwork?? 

Ever since the Traffic Sentinel Scheme has come up, Goa has been facing a lot of public outrage regarding the violation of traffic rules. Traffic Sentinel Scheme was introduced in 2017, wherein any person can report traffic violations by capturing a photo or video of the person violating the traffic rules.

In return of this reports, the person earns points and will eventually win cash rewards. Till now around 5,834 citizens have been enrolled. So far, Goa police have booked 71,162 cases under the scheme. 

Although this scheme was introduced to maintain discipline on roads, encourage citizens to follow traffic rules and prevent road accidents; this has taken an ugly turn. There have been many cases of people attacking the traffic sentinels on account of reporting the traffic violations. Officials also fear that installing CCTV cameras may also result in the public destroying them.

Now in this controversy, the Politicians also seem to have taken part. The State Assembly discussion witnessed mixed opinions regarding this scheme. Many officials made remarks and absurd claims to the same. They requested a need to review the scheme while some wanted the Scheme to be withdrawn.

According to Business Standard, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar (Congress) and BJP MLA Glen Ticlo raised the issue through a calling attention motion, demanding that the scheme is scrapped. Many legislators were of the opinion that this scheme infringes privacy rights. Ministers Vijai Sardesai, Sudin Dhavalikar and Nilesh Cabral defended it stating that this scheme is brought in order to bring discipline on the roads.

DY Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo claimed that the Traffic Sentinel scheme is illegal as it was not approved by the Cabinet before implementing it in public. Lobo stated that this scheme is “dangerous” as it violates the privacy rights of individuals.

He asked “Do we have a right to privacy? Anyone takes our photo. The scheme is illegal as it started in 2017, but was notified only on November 22, 2018. Even the Cabinet didn’t approve it, it got notified later.”

Lobo demanded the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar withdraw this scheme as it is being used to harass the tourists. According to Times of India, Lobo reportedly said “The chief minister would earlier travel all over Goa every few days and was aware of the traffic conditions. But now, he’s bedridden and is not aware of the traffic chaos in the state due to the Traffic Sentinel scheme. It was started him, and he has to now stop it.” 

Apart from this, this scheme is being misused as certain sentinels click pictures of girls and encourage prostitution. Speaking on the same, Lobo said “In the name of Traffic Sentinel, people click photos of girls in Calangute and give them to pimps. These pimps then show the photos to prospective customers and misguide them by saying that the girls are available for prostitution,” citing this event he said that these reasons have caused tourists to rule out Goa for visiting.

Making an absurd claim as to oppose this scheme, Congress Tivim MLA Nilkant Halarnkar told the House. “If someone clicks a photo (in such a situation), there could even commit suicide,” Supporting this statements Canacona legislator Isidore Fernandes was not far behind. He said the scheme could create problems for “pati, patni aur woh” (husband, wife and the other).

The transport minister, Ramkrishna Dhavalikar finally assured the House that the government would review the scheme. “The government makes rules and regulations that have to be obeyed by the public,” he said.

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