Staff crunch, transfers cripple RTOs in Mumbai
Each RTO already has a shortfall of at least 40% of the total staff required, and the recent spate of transfers outside department has further queered the pitch for the transport authority
The Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in Mumbai are housed in a variety of structures ranging from British-era edifices to modernised, swanky buildings.
The waiting period at the Andheri RTO just got longer. File pic
However, all these offices are facing a common problem the number of people working within them is dwindling. During the recent round of transfers, the three RTOs of Tardeo, Andheri and Wadala saw transfer of 32 staffers working there, while 10 personnel from other RTOs in Maharashtra were posted here.
“We already have a skewed staff ratio and the transfers have made it worse,” said an RTO official on condition of anonymity. The government has transferred 130 motor vehicle inspectors across the state, of which 32 of them belonged to the RTOs in Mumbai.
The largest number of officials included 14 from Andheri, followed by 10 from Wadala RTO, five from Tardeo RTO and three from the Transport Commissioner’s office. Sources said that each RTO already has a shortfall of at least 40 per cent of the total staff required and the new lot of inspectors has not even resumed work here.
This is not only affecting the work of dealing with temporary and permanent driving licences, vehicle registrations, and getting relevant documents for other work; but also delaying the inspection of complaints against errant auto rickshaw and taxi drivers.
Also, due to the shortfall, the waiting period for a driving test appointment has gone beyond three months. There are normally two teams, each comprising five-seven on-field RTO officers, entrusted with the task of catching errant auto and taxi drivers. But considering the extent of the city’s traffic woes, these teams have their task cut out for them.
Recently, there was a meeting attended by officials from the transport department and the traffic police, where various methods for tackling the problems related to errant auto and taxi drivers were discussed. The authorities agreed that most problems occur outside Bandra, Andheri and Kandivli stations in the western suburbs, where there are share-auto stands.
“We are taking help from the traffic police as the number of on-field inspectors available with the RTOs is limited,” a senior transport department official told mid-day. The authorities have agreed to tackle the several illegal auto rickshaws plying on a share basis, creating ruckus at the areas they operate from, and causing problems to the people at large.
Even BEST had complained to the law enforcement agencies about the rampant mushrooming of these illegal autos and the traffic nightmares that they create for the utility’s buses. In fact, BEST had temporarily suspended its service from Bandra (East) station to Bandra Terminus because these illegal vehicles had jammed this arterial road. These bus services were restarted last week.
Number of vehicle inspectors transferred from Andheri RTO
No transferred from Wadala RTO
No transferred from Tardeo RTO