Less than a month after it was launched, the state transport department's scheme to send driving licences to applicants by post seems to have hit a roadblock.
Unauthorised agents disrupted the working at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Tardeo resulting in drop of registrations by almost 40-50% in the past three days. About 50 agents gathered at the RTO and demanded withdrawal of the scheme.
“People are not getting their licence. Also our business has been hit since the scheme started,” said Nasir Khan, an unauthorised RTO agent.
Of the 2,000 licences sent by post till April 18, 27 were returned to the Tardeo RTO. The applicants will now have to come personally and collect their licence by showing a valid photo identity card. “The address needs to be correct,” said Dilip Jadhav, transport commissioner.
Sources in the RTO said the problem could be more complex at Andheri and Thane RTOs where influx of people was higher.
However, the Mumbai Taximen’s Union said they would not support the unauthorised agents and would abide by the RTO rules.
“However, we have written to the RTO and will meet the transport commissioner to request them to hand over the renewal of licences to the union. Many taxi drivers stay in slums and do not have proper address or residential proofs,” said AL Quadros, president of the union.
Transport expert Sudhir Badami said the scheme was a good idea since it would help in eliminating corruption. “There have been several cases of false addresses being used for issuing licences. The RTO should not give in to the demand,” he said.