The state transport department’s helpline number 1800-22-0110, that entertains citizens’ complaints against errant taxi and auto rickshaw drivers, has helped bring in a cool Rs 25,300 in fines.
The department says the number of complaints since the helpline was launched on June 25, has reached 3,311.
“We have managed to dispose off more than 60 per cent of the complaints since the helpline was launched. We have also collected a fine of Rs 25,300 from errant drivers,” Transport Commissioner Dilip Jadhav said.
Until August 16 – when the figure was last updated – 665 permits and 380 licences had been suspended until further interrogation. Nearly 1,139 taxi and auto drivers have been served show-cause notices and have been asked to reply within a week. Meanwhile, 1,127 complaints are yet to be taken care of. The transport department has even sent letters to the drivers, whose licences have expired, at their respective postal addresses.
“If we don’t receive a reply along with the necessary documents, we will suspend the licences,” an RTO official said. Nearly 70 per cent of the calls received on the helpline was regarding refusal to ply short distances.
This 24x7 helpline is manned by three officers from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) who work in three shifts at the Mumbai Central office. They make a note of the kind of complaint, details of the complainant, and details of the taxi or auto rickshaw.
However, people have been complaining that that one cannot connect to the helpline using a mobile phone.
So, the transport department has now started an electronic helpline system where calls after a certain waiting time will get diverted. This, they claim, will reduce the chances of failed calls, which happen in a manual system.
Transport Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil will be convening a meeting in a couple of days to determine the success of this helpline that was launched after the rapid rise in the number of complaints by citizens against taxi and auto drivers.