As part of its ongoing campaign against errant autorickshaw and taxi drivers, on Tuesday HT filed online complaints through the traffic police website against 17 drivers, who refused to ply our reporters.
Although officials claimed they needed two days to take action, the traffic police had not reverted to our complaints even by Friday evening.
Traffic officials blamed the delay in action on lack of coordination between the traffic police and the transport department.
Mote Patil, senior inspector, prosecution branch, traffic, said, “Taking action against a driver is a two-day procedure. We can locate the driver only after we get details of the permit holder from the regional transport office (RTO).”
When questioned about the status of HT’s complaints, Patil said work was in progress. “Once action is taken, the authorities contact the complainant and inform him of the steps taken. Also the information is sent to the joint commissioner of police, traffic,” he said, adding that if a complainant doesn’t receive a response, he should get in touch with the traffic outpost concerned.
Sources in the traffic police said the main problem was that the two departments have separate websites and they can’t access each other’s database.
“Once the traffic police receive a complaint, they have to approach the RTO for details of the permit holder. The police can’t get the information from the transport department’s website as it requires the engine number of the vehicle to process the information,” said an official.
The official added that the RTO often delays the procedure due to lack of manpower.
“The permit holders often give incomplete residential addresses, because of which tracing them becomes difficult,” he said.
Another official claimed that even if they have the details of the permit holder, the rickshaw is usually owned by another person and a third person drives it. “Usually, three people drive these rickshaws in three shifts. In such a case, without help from the RTO, action against drivers becomes difficult.”
However, an official from the transport department said on condition of anonymity, “I would not agree that information is delayed. In some cases, if the details are not provided on time, we maintain the records and take action.”