Touts are kings at transport offices

City's transport offices are plagued by nexus between babus and 'helpful' touts

The Transport Department offices of the city government are a hub for touts. Though many raids have been conducted by the government to curb the menace of touting, the business is still a flourishing one. 

The reason behind the success of touting is the lethargic work style of the babus posted with the department. Long queues are seen at every transport office. There are no help desks, or clarity on the documents required for any work. This helps touts to attract business. 

The department officials and the police also play a dubious role. The touts usually have good contacts with many babus who get their work done immediately in exchange of a cut.

The office of the Janakpuri Transport Authority is among the worst transport offices of the city government. A person, who goes there for a simple work like renewal of registration certificate of the vehicle, has to stand in long queues to get to the counter. 

As there is no help desk, no one answers the query and many people end up standing for more than an hour in a `wrong queue’.

“When I reached the window to get the bank’s name deleted from the registration certificate of my car, after clearing the loan, after an hour standing in the queue, the official said that I needed more documents. I argued and said why don’t they tell the public in advance about what is needed at what counter. The employee asked me to go back and collect all the documents,” says Pramod Kumar, a resident of Laxmi Nagar.

A week later, Kumar collected all the documents and reached the Janakpuri Transport Authority before its opening time, but was shocked to see there already was a long queue at the office and most of those in it were touts.

“On that morning, I got to know why there was a long queue and what took the babus so long to get the general public’s work done. The touts actually occupied most of the time of the babus with some four-five cases together at a time. They stand in the queue as the entry to the office from the back is restricted,” Kumar said.

The touts generally demand Rs 600-700 for a four-wheeler driving licence, Rs 1000-1500 to get the name of the bank deleted and issuing a new registration certificate on clearing a car loan, Rs 2,000-3,000 for getting a vehicle certificate transferred on resale and more than Rs 5,000 for any illegal work.

Licences for everybody

If any person who doesn’t even know how to drive approaches touts for a four-wheeler driving licence, they get it done within a week or 15 days, and that  too with very few supporting documents.

 The babus usually refuse to issue a licence to those who are not able to submit an address proof other than a rent agreement. For such people, touts get the work done.Though the government has launched the electronic service legal agreement (e-SLA) which binds officials to get the work done in a given time frame or pay a fine, the guarantee come into effect only when all required documents are submitted.

“We are working on making the system more transparent. More detailed information about different services are being uploaded on the websites to tell people about what document they require to get their work done. No one can deny there is a problem of touts at the Transport Department offices. We are working harder to curb the menace,” said a senior Transport Department official.

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