Crackdown on RTO touts in Mumbai: Work delays affect the common man

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Applicants at the Vashi RTO say processes are taking much longer to complete in the absence of touts and that they don’t mind paying some money to agents as long as their time is saved and they don’t have to stand in long queues

State Transport Commissioner Mahesh Zagade’s crackdown on illegal agents and corruption at RTOs seems to have had an unintended consequence: people going to the Vashi RTO are having a tough time getting their work done.

Waiting time had increased and applicants had to queue up themselves to get the work done at the Vashi RTO yesterday
Waiting time had increased and applicants had to queue up themselves to get the work done at the Vashi RTO yesterday

The absence of touts, they complain, has not only increased the time taken in getting an application processed, but now they also have to stand in queues and submit the necessary documents themselves something that the agents would get done for a small fee.

“I have applied to get my tourist vehicle’s registration converted into a private one. I have been coming here for three days, but the work is not getting done due to lack of adequate staff members at the RTO. Earlier, the agents used to get the process completed within a day,” said Mallesh Pawar, a resident of Turbhe.

Most people mid-day spoke to at the RTO said that they did not mind paying agents to get their work done as long as it meant that their time was saved and they did not have to stand in long queues. “The officials at the RTO are asking owners to come and submit required documents for any work to be done.

It is next to impossible for a person owning a transport company to visit the RTO for completing the tax and other formalities of multiple vehicles. The transport commissioner should provide an alternative,” said Balwant Mohite, a manager of a transport company.

Dearly missed
Officials at the Vashi RTO also seem to be missing touts as they don’t have enough staff members to handle the extra load. Sanjay Dhaygude, Deputy RTO (Vashi), said, “Agents acted like a buffer and the procedural paperwork was looked after by them. In their absence, our staffers, who are already busy with routine work, are facing a lot of additional load.” This sentiment was also echoed by officials at the Panvel RTO.

Agent speak
Agents at the Vashi RTO said it was unfair that only they were being targeted. “Agents are present in every sector, including travel and housing, but only we have been targeted. We will continue to protest until an alternate way is shown to us,” said Surinder Singh, an RTO agent based in Vashi.

Citizen speak

Balwant Mohite, transport company manager
The officials at the RTO are asking owners to come and submit required documents for any work to be done. It is next to impossible for a person owning a transport company to visit the RTO for completing the tax and other formalities of multiple vehicles. The transport commissioner should provide an alternative

Mallesh Pawar, Turbhe resident
I have applied to get my tourist vehicle’s registration converted into a private one. I have been coming here for three days, but the work is not getting done due to lack of adequate staff members at the RTO. Earlier, the agents used to get the process completed within a day

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