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Sharad Rao-led auto union finds fault with online system, again

While the lottery system for permits was started by the transport commissioner, the group says that as per the Motor Vehicles Act, involvement of state transport authority is obligatory

After citing technical glitches to run down the online process of delivering new permits, the Sharad Rao-led auto rickshaw union has gone for the jugular.

The group has claimed that the new mechanism was initiated by the transport commissioner, though, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, special quasi-judicial bodies like road transport authority (RTA) and state transport authority (STA) have to be involved.

Sources say that as per rules, this being statewide issuance of auto permits, STA should have first taken a decision and then delegated powers to the transport commissioner. More than 1.75 lakh people from across Maharashtra mainly aspiring auto rickshaw drivers and badge holders have applied online, hoping to get fresh auto rickshaw permits in their names.

Of the total applications received by the transport department till February 15, the highest number of submissions 43,654 came in from Mumbai (W), followed by 17,550 from Mumbai (E). The lottery for the process will be held on February 27. After this, the 35 RTOs across the state will begin issuing permits to eligible applicants.

“Proper process has not been followed here as the transport commissioner has set the ball rolling without adequate permission. As per Motor Vehicles Act, the process of online system for permits is flawed,” said Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary, Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union.

Refuting this claim, transport commissioner VN More said, “All RTAs have given their consent and due procedure has been followed.” However, sources said that as per provision in section 63 of Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules (MMVR) 1989, RTAs can’t delegate powers to transport commissioner and only the state transport authority can do so, as per rule 64 of MMVR.

Time frame
After the draw on February 27, names of successful applicants will be displayed on websites of Mahaonline and transport department. Thereafter, successful candidates will be issued letters of intent, and scrutiny of their papers will be completed before March 15.

All for transparency
Transport department officials opined that the union has a problem with everything and that they are trying to make things transparent as much as possible. “We have taken all permissions and anyone can go to court if they feel anything is wrong. If we had done it manually, then there would have been wastage of manpower and it would have taken at least a year to complete the process,” said an official.

1.75 lakh
Number of applicants from across the state for the new auto permits

34,000
Total new permits to be issued

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