Published On : Mon, Jun 30th, 2014

Is the Rural RTO a den of touts or commission agents?

Nagpur News

One look at the Rural Road Transport Office situated on Kamptee Road, and it will look as if it is a truck service and repair centre. The entire place is one big ground with many trucks standing and getting repaired and many young and old people going from one place to another in a complicated building sort of complex.

Nagpur Today visited the Rural RTO to verify if what people alleged was true or not. To our horror, this place looks exactly as any corrupt office is portrayed in any Bollywood movie.

One simply cannot go and get a license directly. Every client is coerced to get the license made or get a document made through these commission agents only. These commission agents are practically ruling the roost at Rural RTO. They dictate what and who will get the license or document, when. They have become so complacent that they are ready to get into any volcanic situation to deal with anyone who does not adhere to their policies, said an official on condition of anonymity. One can witness many scuffles every now and then.

The premises lack maintenance and care. Anyone can park his or her vehicle anywhere in the premise. The traffic cop who has to witness the driver and ascertain if the driver knows how to drive has to sit under a small shanty made under a tree. That shed too was destroyed by a NMC bulldozer under the pretext that it was an encroachment.

What Nagpur Today failed to comprehend was that, if the entire premise belongs to RTO, what business does NMC have in destroying the shanty?

These commission agents charge the clients anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 500 depending on how prosperous the client looks. However, their major earning is from the Truck drivers, owners, travel and transport companies etc who come for renewing their license, permits, route permits, their insurance or other documents. They are fleeced with any amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Anything is possible here. To add to this harassment, the RTO forms, necessary for procuring licenses, permits or other documents, are never given by the office itself. Citizens and businessmen have to run to Xerox shops to get these forms and then get their jobs done.