Last August, a dingy regional transport office (RTO) at Andheri West underwent a revamp and was soon replaced by a futuristic-looking building replete with tall tinted glasses. The state government reportedly spent a whopping Rs 15 crore in setting up this state-of-the-art building.
The Regional Transport Office building, which was inaugurated in September last year.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated this new RTO office amidst much fanfare and even proclaimed it as one of the most iconic government structures. But after eight months, the RTO staff and citizens, who come to the office for their documentation work, are a disgruntled lot as the building lacks basic amenities such as seating arrangements, water filter and air-conditioned rooms.
Important official documents are now kept on the floor due to lack of cupboards
In fact, if sources are to be believed then the structure lacks more than 40 amenities and it has remained incomplete since it was handed over to the Transport department last year. “Everything is missing — right from cupboards with lockers to keep important files and documents, toilets and drinking water filters for the public and air-conditioned rooms for staff,” said a RTO, official on condition of anonymity. Citizens also complain that there aren’t sufficient fans or AC rooms for them.
Those, who come especially for their driving learner’s licence test, have to stand in long queues in the open. As there are no proper seating arrangements, they sit on parapets and sometimes even on the floor. The condition of files containing vital documents such as photo IDs of people who have applied for driving licences and registration certificates of vehicles are lying strewn on the floor. “There are hardly any drawers and cupboards to keep them. All of them are lying on the floor just behind where the staff members sit,” said another RTO official.
However, when contacted, P Bhalerao, RTO (Andheri), said, “We have written letters to relevant authorities for getting these things done as they have been pending for a long time.”