Agent, RTO official in Mumbai nexus must end: experts | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Agent, RTO official in Mumbai nexus must end: experts

Corruption and the nexus between Regional Transport Office officials and touts who work independently and are hired by motor training institutes need to be dealt with to ensure that only credible motorists have the licence to take to the wheel, say experts.

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2013 01:41 IST
Puja Changoiwala

Corruption and the nexus between Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials and touts who work independently and are hired by motor training institutes need to be dealt with to ensure that only credible motorists have the licence to take to the wheel, say experts.

The transport department has conducted several raids in the recent past with licences of over 400 training institutes cancelled last year.

In January this year, the Andheri RTO shut five illegal driving schools in the western suburbs as part of the Road Safety Fortnight. Cases were registered against the establishments' owners and hefty fines were imposed on them.

Jitendra Gupta, member, Citizen Transport Committee and a transport expert, alleged that motor training institutes work through touts who are in direct touch with RTO officials. These touts ensure that a licence is issued to an applicant irrespective of his credibility.

“You have to submit a medical certificate with your licence application. Even if the applicant has a medical condition which makes him unfit to drive, the tout will get a certificate stating that he is in perfect condition,” said Gupta.

According to transport experts, there is a need to combat the corruption prevailing at the RTOs that issue driving licences after a few palms are greased. “The RTO has started delivering licences by post to ensure it reaches an authentic applicant. However, I think we still have a very long way to go before all the errors in our system are fixed,” said Allka Shah, member of road safety advisory board to Mumbai police.

The government had decided upon computerised objective tests in July last year even for getting a learner’s licence. However, it still to be implemented in its entirety, said officials.

“Out of about 50 RTO and deputy RTO offices across the state, the computerised test facility for learning licence is available at only 26. In Mumbai, the facility is only available at Tardeo RTO. Wadala RTO is yet to start it and the facility has been non-functional at Andheri for a long time,” said an official from the transport department.