Last year, the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) had launched a weekly camp at Handewadi Road in Hadapsar, to assist over 10 lakh citizens residing in suburban areas such as Hadapsar, Kondhwa, Wanowrie Mundhwa and Koregaon Park. Every Monday, the camp was meant to provide easy access for citizens in these areas who wished to apply for driving licences.
Local residents say the RTO camp in Hadapsar has been shut for the past three months, opening once a month or so and providing a service that is unpredictable at best. Pic/Shashank Sane
However, when mid-day visited the camp near Shri Ram Chowk on Monday, it was shut and not a single person was in sight. On further investigation, local residents revealed that the camp has been defunct for the past three months, without any prior announcement from the RTO. They added that, sometimes, the office was open on the first Monday of the month, but the service was unpredictable at best.
Pradeep Singh, a resident of a nearby residential society, Ganga Village, said, “The RTO camp was a boon for many citizens living in the suburbs. However, for the last three months, the camp has been shut. There is no notice board informing citizens when the camp will re-open. On the first Monday of this month, the camp was open, but for only three hours.”
Amol Bhingare, a Hadapsar resident, had taken a day off from work to renew his expired learners’ licence only to realise that the office was closed. “I am shocked to see that no notices were put up to inform us of the camp’s timings or why it was shut. Now I will have to go all the way to the Sangamwadi RTO,” he said.
There are several local residents like Bhingare, who went back disappointed because the camp was no longer active. According to Deputy Regional Transport Officer Anil Valiv, though, the main reason behind the suspension of weekly services at the camp is that there wasn’t a strong enough response from citizens.
“Our main objective was to cater to the local residents and provide them with easy access to get their driving licences. However, due to poor response, we had no option but to change the weekly camp to a monthly camp. As of now, we are focussed on conducting driving tests at the Alandi RTO,” he said.
“We have some major plans on the cards to cater to the need of the 10 lakh residents in the area. We are planning to have more facilities, apart from providing driving licences. I can only comment on the new development after it has been finalised,” Valiv added.
>> Call the RTO complaint number: 26058282
>> Toll free number: 1800-233-0012