Laxman Matoo, 42, a cab driver and a resident of Bandra (East), bought a taxi early in December. A month later, his vehicle is yet to be registered, even though he has been busy making the rounds of the Tardeo regional transport office (RTO) and the transport commissioner’s office.
Like him, several other cab drivers said they are missing out on their daily income and being subjected to harassment because their vehicles have either not been registered or their fitness certificates have not been renewed.
AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximens Union said around 35 to 40 cabbies have borne the brunt of flaws in the newly-introduced web-based vehicle registration system VAHAN 4.0 at the Tardeo RTO.
“More than a month has passed, but RTOs have not found a solution yet,” said Quadros.
The union has written to the transport commissioner and Tardeo RTO, asking them to take immediate steps to resolve the issue and warning them of protests if this is not looked into.
“Why did the department roll out the system without making sure it was foolproof?” asked Quadros. The motor vehicle department rolled out VAHAN 4.0, a system developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), at the Tardeo and Wadala RTOs in mid-December.
According to RTO sources, the registration of around 10 vehicles is pending. However, they do not know how many cab drivers are waiting for fitness renewal certificates.
“The problem lies in transferring data from the old system to the new,” said an official, requesting anonymity.
RTO officials said cab drivers need to obtain a fitness renewal certificate annually, but the system displays the date of the next inspection after 10 years.
Hence, unable to renew the fitness of such vehicles, they have raised the issue with the NIC.
Cabbies, however, said they have been running from pillar to post for the past month, but issue still remains unresolved, increasing their financial burdens.
“The registration of my taxi has been stuck since December 13. I was told that the issue would be resolved within a week, but that was not the case,” said Matoo, who had taken a loan of around Rs5 lakh for the new taxi.
Transport commissioner Praveen Gedam said they reported the issue to the NIC, ministry of road transport and department of information technology on Saturday.
The problems faced by Tardeo and Wadala RTOs owing to the VAHAN 4.0 system have caused other RTOs to shy away from introducing the system just yet.