Nagpur: Pradeep Naththuji Khapekar, owner of a popular Saoji eatery in South Nagpur, bought a Nano car for his youngest son last week.
He wanted to present the car to his youngest son, who has recently been employed in a big company. It was a big occasion for the family, and the father was looking to hand over the keys to the Nano by Saturday.
But it did not happen.
The Dealer A.K. Gandhi, from who he made the purchase told him that along with other ‘papers’ Pradeep Khapekar would have to attach a photo of him “planting a sapling somewhere in Nagpur” to get his car registered! That was a condition being put forward by RTO officers, the dealer told Pradeep.
Khapekar has bought two cars before this, an Omni and an Alto 800 from Arya and Sewa respectively, but he never had to undertake this ‘tree plantation’ to get registration.
“Planting a tree is a good thing to do, trees are our friends, but why this condition by the RTO?” Khapekar commented to NT.
We decided to probe this further.
An RTO Inspector we spoke to first brushed off this notion.
“There is a huge misinterpretation about RTO and its rules among Indians in general” he said.
“This is ridiculous! RTO woud never put such a condition” he asserted. “Neither would A.K. Gandhi insist on it, go check your facts” he almost scolded us.
We did so. And to our surprise, even shock, this condition was confirmed by RTO Officer, Ravindra Bhoyar.
“We have a Circular asking people to plant trees while registering a new car; it is not compulsory, but advisable” he said in a telephonic conversation with us.
Khapekar is not amused though.
“Could it be that RTO was given money to do tree plantation, but they have spent it elsewhere and now want us to fulfill that mandate?” he asks.
Nevertheless, the dealer’s rep. is going over to his house tomorrow to snap a pic of the tree planting.
Long live the tree!