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Chaos outside Mumbai RTOs as auto drivers rush to submit permit applications

The drivers, who were chosen by the automated lottery in February, are scrambling to submit their final documents for scrutiny; every day they are seen fighting, pushing each other and creating a ruckus

Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) are having a tough time controlling the unruly crowd of auto rickshaw permit aspirants, who line up outside every day and create a ruckus. Over the last few days, officials at the RTOs have reported of chaos every single morning.

Also read: Exposed! How agents are duping online rickshaw permit winners

With their pushing, fighting and shouting, drivers tend to disturb others who come to the RTO office to take driving tests, collect licences and get other work done
With their pushing, fighting and shouting, drivers tend to disturb others who come to the RTO office to take driving tests, collect licences and get other work done

These are the drivers who have been selected in the auto rickshaw permit lottery in February. The lottery, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, randomly chose lucky applicants from the thousands who filled up the forms. The lucky applicants were asked to then submit their documents — qualification certificates, address proof etc — to the RTO for scrutiny.

The ensuing chaos at RTOs is a result of the mad rush to hand in the documents. Every day, applicants line up outside RTO windows at 8 am, even though the counters open at 12 noon. Aspirants are seen literally fighting, pushing each other and screaming.

Some jump queues; others fall down the staircase and scramble back to their spot to make sure it isn’t usurped. Security personnel and RTO clerks are facing difficulties ensuring decorum and silence on the premises, since many come to the RTO to take driving tests, collect licences and get other work done.

For the last three months, RTOs have been collecting documents from the lucky winners. Sources said that from May 19, RTOs would start processing the papers to determine permit winners. “Until now, we have received around 11,000 applications for new permits and expect thousands more in the final days of submission,” said an RTO official.

The Andheri RTO received 43,654 applications prior to the lottery, out of which 12,080 were declared winners. Similarly, the Wadala RTO got 17,550 applications, of which the program chose which 8,851 applicants. There are thousands more who are in the waiting list too.

Officialspeak
“We will now begin the process of scrutinising these applications. Based on the documents submitted, we will verify whether or not the documents are correct.

Applicants will be informed if they have been selected for getting permits or not, based on our scrutiny,” said P Bhalerao, Regional Transport Office (Andheri).

The entire procedure would take at least 6 months – RTOs would have to verify the school and university certificates by fetching records from the various institutions in the state, as well as outside.

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