Rampant theft of bikes and parts from vehicles seized by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and parked on the premises has prompted officials to send a proposal to the state government demanding appointment of five security guards.
Currently, the RTO premises lack any security guards and the vehicles seized by the department lie unguarded. It was reported on June 13 that seven uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries were stolen from the Learning Licence Department while three two-wheelers had been stolen from the RTO premises in the past five months.
Officials opine that thousands visit the RTO each day and the premise requires a minimum of three guards during the day and two during the night. Several seized vehicles, including two-wheelers, auto rickshaws, cars and mini buses have been parked on the premises for several years and many vehicles are missing batteries and other parts. The officials said they have demanded that security guards be appointed immediately and a proper system be devised for seized vehicles.
The parenting body of the RTO is the secretary of the state government’s Home Ministry and Transport Commissioner. This body is responsible for taking decisions regarding infrastructural up-gradation or human resources.
Deputy Transport Commissioner Amarendra Pathak is the in-charge regarding security issues, and he refused to comment when asked about the security issue at the RTO. RTO officials claim that their department collects between Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore in revenue per day, but fortunately the cash is deposited in the bank every day. Besides the vehicles, valuable documents are stored at the RTO and should be protected.
Baba Shinde, former member of Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), said, “The increasing number of confiscated vehicles is creating lots of problems. We had sent a proposal for allotment of extra land for these vehicles in 2009. Many detained vehicles are also parked at PMPML depots without any security.”
PMPML PRO Pravinsinh Pardeshi said these vehicles are creating a major problem. “Vehicles are taking up lots of space at Swargate, Hadapsar and Kothrud depot. There is not enough space to park our buses and that’s why most of the buses are being parked on the roadside. We have sent letters several times to the RTO to vacate our depot, but no action has been taken,” Pardeshi said.