The Tardeo regional transport office (RTO) officials registered 700 vehicles belonging to a private fleet taxi company in just a day — on March 28 — with just three officials managing the mammoth task, say sources.
Significantly, none of the vehicles was brought for inspection to the RTO office located in central Mumbai, where 450 Toyota Etios and 250 Mahindra Veritos belonging to Tab Cab were registered.
MB Jadhav from the Tardeo RTO said that it was not possible to accommodate the large number of taxis at the RTO premises due to limited space. Therefore, he had sent officials to the company premises at Malvani.
The state transport authority had given a March 2013 deadline to Tab Cab to register 1,200 cabs. Of these, around 250 cabs were registered in the last few months while 950 vehicles were registered in March.
The RTO claimed they had completed only the registration process, and had not issued fitness certificates or permits to the taxis. “Fitment and permits will be issued to Tab Cab only after testing of meters and crosschecking other details of the vehicles,” said Jadhav.
Tab Cab insisted that it had followed the rules. “All 951 cars registered last month were pre-inspected by the RTO on our request at our depots, as bringing these many cars to the RTO was not possible owing to shortage of drivers,” said Prasenjeet Bagchi, chief marketing officer, Tab Cab.
He added that post inspection, all the cars were being fitted with various accessories and they had filled receipts and deposited road tax for all cabs to the RTO and now after accessories fitment completion, RC (Registration certificate) book would be issued.
Taxi unions have questioned the Andheri RTO’s hurried move They allege that the transport officials are partial toward fleet taxi companies. “Law should be equal for all. How they can register so many vehicles without checking?” said AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union. He said RTO officials usually sent applicants back if they missed even a small thing.