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RTO staff crunch due to polls vexes motorists

For the next few days when you go to the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO), take out enough time to get your work done, as currently the RTO is facing a staff crunch.

The reason behind this is more than 20 clerical staff and four RTO inspectors are on election duty since last week. People coming to RTO for registration of new vehicles, getting RTO passing number for vehicles, auto permits etc have to wait for hours and stand in queue. The fiscal-end is also keeping the staffers busy, and people have to wait for hours to get their work done.

“The work is more and the staff is less, as elections are on their way and the staff has gone for poll duty. We are pulling our socks to give the best service to the public with the limited manpower we have. Our request to the public is that they should avoid going to agents and get information about all the RTO processes from our website,” said Jeetendra Patil, Pune regional transport officer.

“We have displayed many boards around the office premises so that the public can get information about all the RTO procedures and can do their work on their own. Having less staff is affecting our work, but if people cooperate, the work can be carried out smoothly,” added Patil.

The Pune RTO has two offices, one near Sangamwadi Bridge and another at Phullenagar.

Out of the current staff, which is around 40, half has gone for election duty. On a daily basis, the RTO sees more than 5,000 footfalls at both its offices in the city.

The cash collected at these offices, through various fees and fines, is Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

An RTO staffer said, “There is a lot of pressure on those of us who have not gone for election duty. We have got orders from higher officials to complete the March-ending work and look after the daily counters of tax collection, registration fees etc. We have to face the angry people who get into arguments with us if their work is not done immediately, so there is a lot of stress.”

Applicants feel the pinch

Keshav Jadhav, who bought a new motorcycle last week, told mid-day, “Since last Thursday, I have been coming to the RTO for getting a number for my bike daily, but still the work is not completed. Every time, I come here most counters are closed down and there is no one to guide us.” Auto rickshaw driver Shailesh Kare said, “Many auto drivers are frustrated since the RTO staff has reduced, and we have different types of work daily at the RTO. The counters are not open in time at 10 am and many are closed due to staff shortage.”

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