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Did RTO bend rules for elite cab fleet?

Registering a car at a Regional Transport Office (RTO) is a tedious job for most, except perhaps the influential. The fleet cab company TABcab managed to register its 700 new vehicles in a matter of two-three days at the Tardeo RTO, without taking the vehicles to the office for verification, say union leaders.

Apparently, about three politicians have invested in TABcab. If sources are to be believed the company just sent the registration papers to the RTO which were duly signed and cleared by its officials. Presently, TABcab operates around 1,850 cabs. In February, the company said it would increase the fleet by 1,200 by March-end. All vehicles need to be present at the RTO for proper verification.

“We will be officially complaining to the RTO and transport department about this. At a time when black and yellow cab drivers are forced to stand in queue for hours as it is mandatory, why such an exception?” questioned A L Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

Under Section 44 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 every vehicle needs to be present at the time of registration. Normally a vehicle would take anywhere around 5-10 minutes to register. “This is just wrong. The RTO needs to take action,” said Prem Singh of Mumbai Taxi Association.

Sources said the last-minute rush for registering by March 31 was due to the extended deadline given to the company for registering its vehicles. TABcab was given a deadline of December 2012, which was extended by another 3 months.

The other side
Slamming these allegations, TABcab claimed that these vehicles had gone to the RTO for registration. “In December 250 cabs were registered while between February and March 950 cabs were registered which will be deployed in another one month after following all procedures,” said Prasenjeet Bagchi, CMO, TABcab.

RTO officials claim that procedure was followed. “We sent our inspectors to check these vehicles which were over 400 on one particular day. If all these vehicles had come to Tardeo RTO there would have been severe traffic jams. On March 31 we checked the papers for registration. After this other details like meters and vehicle fitness will be checked,” said MB Jadhav, RTO officer, Tardeo RTO.

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