RTI activists spot unlisted JCBs, bring excavation work to halt
Demand action against contractor, question PWD's approach in allotting contracts
Right To Information (RTI) activists Anoop Awasthi and Vinod Jain stopped excavation work, being carried out to lay a sewage pipeline, under the Gadgil Bridge in Deccan Gymkhana area. The activists brought the work to a halt after they discovered that six of the eight JCBs, pressed into action, lacked Regional Transport Office (RTO) registration numbers.
In addition, when the police officials reached the spot and questioned the JCB driver-cum-operators, it came to the fore that these drivers lacked special licences, necessary for operating heavy vehicles.
The activists have now demanded stringent action against the contractor who provided the JCBs for civic work. They also questioned the functioning of the Public Works Department (PWD) for issuing contract to the company that provided unregistered JCBs.
“It’s necessary for heavy construction vehicles to have number plates, so that in case of an accident, a complaint can be registered against the contractor providing it. However, the six JCBs, which were operating in Deccan Gymkhana area lacked number plates,” Awasthi said.
He added that both the activists were in for a shock, when during police investigation, it was discovered that the JCB driver-cum-operators didn’t have licences necessary for driving or operating such heavy vehicles.
“How could the administration miss out on such an important aspect and issue contract to the company that provided unregistered JCBs?” Awasthi questioned. He also said that since the vehicles weren’t registered, the company had escaped paying service tax, which is a must for the owners of heavy vehicles.
“Like other commercial vehicles, JCBs too have a similar registration procedure. RTO allots proper numbers to JCBs. We can take action against JCBs lacking registration numbers,” RTO officer Arun Yeola said RTO inspector from Deccan area Prakash Balwadkar said that those were not JCBs as they didn’t have pneumatic tyres and hence registration wasn’t compulsory.