RTOs in Maharashtra to seek police’s help to eliminate drivers licence touts

For the first time in two-and-a-half years, the Maharashtra motor vehicle department (MMVD) has started to crack down on them

In an order issued last week, transport commissioner Pravin Gedam directed all 50 RTOs and deputy RTOs across the state to ask police to file complaints against agents
In an order issued last week, transport commissioner Pravin Gedam directed all 50 RTOs and deputy RTOs across the state to ask police to file complaints against agents

Have unauthorised agents and touts tried to fleece you at regional transport offices (RTOs)? Good news, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, the Maharashtra motor vehicle department (MMVD) has started to crack down on them.

The MMVD’s vigilance department caught an agent at the Tardeo RTO on Wednesday. Officials said he had demanded Rs800 for a duplicate driving licence, which costs Rs264. They have asked police to file a complaint against him.

In an order issued last week, transport commissioner Pravin Gedam directed all 50 RTOs and deputy RTOs across the state to ask police to file complaints against agents and touts found fleecing people.

He also tasked officials with conducting surprise checks in their offices to identify such touts. RTO officials can seek manpower from other RTOs or government offices to carry out such checks.

Gedam also directed officials to use hidden cameras or phones to capture illegal acts on video. They can ask independent witnesses to help them.

Transport commissioner Mahesh Zagade had stopped touts from entering RTOs in 2015. The drive was controversial, with agents even challenging the department’s decision in court.

Gedam said action was initiated after citizens complained. However, response among RTO officials and staffers has been mixed.

Some welcomed the drive, while others said staff crunch and lack of proper infrastructure would hinder its progress.

The drive, however, has irked the RTO agents and touts. “We are not doing anything illegal. Even the high court has permitted us to work, provided we have an authority letter,” said Charan M, an agent at the Tardeo RTO.
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