What is being done about the nexus between motor training schools and RTO officials?
We are aware of the menace and have been conducting consistent drives to check on illegal driving schools. We have now started ensuring that each of the schools in the state are subjected to inspection at least once a year.
In August last year, we conducted a drive where we inspected
2,090 schools and licences of 404 were cancelled while the remaining were classified into categories depending on their performance.
The inspection officers were asked to submit a report immediately to avoid corruption. Every RTO in the state keeps performing such inspections on a continuous basis.
Why has the computerised test for issuing licences not been implemented in two of the three RTOs in Mumbai?
The system is functional properly at the Tardeo RTO. At Wadala, it has not tasted reality due to want of space. At Andheri, there have been several rodent problems and the wiring put in place for the system’s set up was practically destroyed. Although the system is currently non-functional at the Andheri RTO, it should be fixed soon.
What do you think can be done to strengthen the licensing procedure and reduce corruption?
I think that there is scope for improvement in the procedure. I do think that our limitations of space, manpower, among other factors, are exploited by unscrupulous elements.
For example, when autorickshaw drivers come to RTOs for permit renewal, they do not usually understand the procedure and pay a tout to get the clearance. Now the tout charges the auto driver at least three to four times more than the fee. We are cracking down on such touts and request people not to approach them.
We also issued a circular recently asking RTO officers to give priority to independent individuals who approach the RTO instead of applicants from training schools or these agents.