Exclusive RTO for autos soon

Inquiry into illegal permits and inefficiencies in Transport dept ordered

Officers of the Transport department said the move will help break the nexus between corrupt officers and the auto drivers.

An official said the department was aware of the funding pattern in the industry and the people who control the autos. Many auto drivers with illegal permits –– running into thousands –– were not plying the autos for a livelihood as they are funded and supported by financiers with “other” links, causing inconvenience to the public.

“We want to completely transform the way autos are bought, drivers are issued licences and permits,” the officer said. He said the proposed move would help the department in centralising the processes, thereby, helping in monitoring them efficiently.

Admitting thousands of autos were being operated with illegal permits or none, the officer said: “The department has planned a series of initiatives to change the system and one of the first ones is the exclusive RTO for autos.”

Transport Commissioner Bhaskar Rao told Deccan Herald: “Yes, we had proposed the move for a separate RTO for autorickshaw, and the State Government sanctioned it last week.” Admitting that corruption is rampant in the department, especially when it comes to autos, Rao said: “I wanted an exclusive RTO so that I know who exactly is issuing the permits, who is availing it and so on... Which is difficult with the present set up with 10 RTOs and hundreds of officials working there.”

Further, officers said last week’s move to issue permits to an additional 40,000 autos in the City, taking the total to about 1.25 lakh, is also in line with the department’s initiatives to eliminate illegal vehicles.

“With the pace at which the department is working to eliminate illegal autos, the City will need new ones to cater to the demand. Thereby, we decided to allow more autos on the roads,” a senior officer said:

“By no means will all the new autorickshaws land on the roads at one go, choking them. It will take at least another five years for the 40,000 autos to hit the road. By then, the department would have taken away many of the illegal and old vehicles,” he claimed.

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