Mumbai: Auto crackdown nets RTO record revenue
RTO collected Rs 342.10 crore in 2018-19, major chunk of the sum came from penalties against erring auto drivers and registration of new vehicles
While the stringent drive to book erring drivers, especially those driving auto rickshaws might have helped commuters, it has also earned the suburban Regional Transport Office (RTO) good revenue.
According to data obtained from the Borivali RTO (It covers the region from Goregaon to Dahisar), there was a record revenue collection for 2018-19, Rs 342.10 crore. The revenue collection for the same in the year 2016-17 was pegged at Rs 206.39 crore.
There were also 75 FIRs against erring auto drivers in 2018-19. An RTO official said that a major chunk of the revenue is from penalties against erring drivers and for registration of new vehicles. In 18-19 the flying squad collected fines totalling Rs 69.46 lakh as against Rs 43.31 lakh collected in the financial year 17-18.
Last year mid-day had done a series of stories on how auto and taxi drivers not only violate rules but even fleece commuters. Taking cognisance of the news reports, state transport minister Diwakar Raote had instructed officials to take stern action against the erring drivers.
Ravi Gaikwad, chief of Borivali RTO, who was transferred to Thane on his last working day on Monday, told mid-day that the spectacular achievement was the result of efforts put in by the entire team. "Road safety is our priority. Accordingly, action was taken against erring drivers.” The scientist-turned-transport officer now plans to replicate the model in Thane too. "Revenue is important. But the safety of human lives is more precious for us. We will conduct more such drives in the future," he said.
Ashok Pawar, Gaikwad's successor, took charge of the Borivali RTO on Monday evening. On day one, Pawar reiterated that the flying squad drive would continue its work with same vigour in the region. He further said that besides road safety and revenue, his priorities would be to expedite the process to get the RTO functioning from the newly allotted Aarey premises.
Result season caution for parents
It is result season and many parents reward their child with two/four wheelers for scoring good marks. But while doing so, many ignore the fact that their child doesn’t have a valid licence for the vehicle.
Recalling his board exam results, former Borivli RTO chief Ravi Gaikwad mentioned that he too was gifted a two-wheeler for topping the Maharashtra HSC board exams. "I got the reward but with a rider. Before handing me the bike keys, my father ensured that I had a proper licence and training to ride it. I request all parents [especially those who plan to gift a car/bike to their kids] to ensure that their child obeys all traffic rules and has a valid licence to ride or drive," Gaikwad added.
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