AFTER A month of introducing Maruti Omnis as replacement for tempos in municipal limit, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has issued only 19 permits for the vehicles till now. This means just eight more have been added to 11 LPG-run vehicles launched on the inaugural day. Out of the total, 13 are plying at present as contractual carriages.
The RTA is going slow in permit issuance looking at the volumes of bogus permit papers available with racketeers. The Authority has laid stress that a person seeking the Omni permit should approach it with tempo and the authentic documents. But in several cases, there are three sets of papers for one tempo, that is, one each with operator, owner and financier of a tempo.
Besides, a large number of tempos have been sold outside the district for plying. In many cases, one tempo has been sold to two to six persons.
“There could be 2,000 bogus tempo permits for 550 Omnis we plan to introduce, that is why we are exercising caution. If we start granting Omni permits on the basis of papers alone, there will two to four claimants for single permit,” a senior RTA official remarked.
Following a Supreme Court directive that tempos be replaced with Omnis to reduce City’s air pollution, RTA ordered phasing out of 550 tempos two years ago. As soon as the owners came to know of the SC order, they began selling tempos outside the district, rendering operators and drivers jobless.
Keeping tabs on this development, racketeers with bogus papers planned to make hay with the launch of Omni services. Nevertheless, the SC order came in handy to check them.
“The SC order said that it will have to give vehicle for vehicle and we are doing just. Come with tempo and papers and take the Omni permit,” Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das said when contacted