Mumbai: Ravaged by thefts, Tardeo RTO to undergo renovation

For years, personnel at the Tardeo Regional Transport Office (RTO) have worked amidst problems like thefts, dumping of garbage and even snakes and scorpions on the premises. But now, relief is finally at hand, as the state government has cleared a proposal for renovating it.

A fire recently destroyed some rooms in the RTO
A fire recently destroyed some rooms in the RTO

One of the major issues the personnel suffer from is theft. The Tardeo RTO shares its boundary wall with slums which are as high as three-storey tall in some locations – and the wall is easy to scale. Some personnel claim the slums have also encroached on the RTO premises.

There have been thefts of fans, computer monitors, tube lights and wooden chairs from the offices. Sources in the RTO claim that they have complained to the local police about these. “Our office is next to the slums and completely unprotected. Moreover there are drug addicts in the vicinity,” said an RTO official.

These slums are mainly next to the canteen and offices in the barracks where record rooms are situated. The licence and registration documents, some as old as four-five decades, are also stored inside the offices that share the boundary wall with the slums.

The huts in these slums have grown taller than the Mangalore tile-roofed RTO, which was built as a horse stable way back in December 1921. The premises have also become a dumping ground for garbage and other filth. The staff claims that during the monsoons, snakes and scorpions are found in certain locations, endangering their safety.

The abandoned vehicles like black-and-yellow taxis and other four wheelers, which have gathered rust are also dumped on the premises as the RTO does not have a specific place to keep them. Recently state Transport Commissioner Mahesh Zagade had visited the RTO for an inspection.

Phased renovation
Now, the state government has cleared a proposal for renovating this RTO in phases; starting with the laying of concrete roads on the 6 acres of open ground on the premises. The barracks will be modified as well, as the insides are in shambles, and even the furniture and records are in bad shape. The personnel feel the records are not safe from theft.

They will be also creating a test track there for testing drivers’ skills and holding exams. The RTO conducts driving tests on an open ground, which is less than ideal, since it is uneven and is often full of haphazardly parked vehicles or old, damaged and abandoned ones. Every day, around 200 vehicles come for these tests.

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