RTI shocker: RTO has no record of complaints against erring auto drivers

Nagpur: The shabby affairs being run in the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Nagpur City, has come to light, once again. An RTI poser has revealed that the RTO has no information on record regarding complaints against auto-rickshaw drivers and action taken against them.

The awful fact came to fore in response to a query under Right to Information (RTI) Act filed by activist Abhay Kolarkar. He had sought information regarding number of complaints received by RTO Nagpur City between January 2015 and May 2019, against auto-rickshaw drivers on various counts such as charging excess fares, scuffles with commuters, or refusing to carry commuters who demand fares to be charged as prescribed.

The RTO stated in response that the information sought was ‘not available on office records’. The information regarding suspension of permits of auto-rickshaw drivers for the above-stated reasons, also was not available on office records. Also, the information regarding auto-rickshaw drivers submitting complaints against commuters, also was not available. But, the information regarding issuance of new permits was available.

In fact, as per the information provided by RTO Nagpur City, 255 new permits were issued in 2015- 16. The number increased to 389 in 2016-17. In 2017-18 and 2018- 19 (up to May 2019), total 1,483 new permits were issued to auto-rickshaw drivers. During the said period, RTO Nagpur City took action against 787 auto-rickshaw drivers.

According to the RTI activist, RTO had launched a toll-free Helpline number 18002333388 in 2013 to help commuters lodge complaints, if any, against auto-rickshaw drivers. However, since January 2015, the office has not received any complaint.