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Monday, December 8, 2014

corruption - RTO Office shown in Movies and ..... at RTO Burari...

Corruption in Public life has been a popular and recurring theme in many cinema ~ and many of them show the licensing authority (RTO) and their brokers in poor light.

Indian (Hindusthani in Hindi & Bharatheeyudu in Telegu) released in 1996 was a fascinating movie directed by Shankar.  Kamal Hassan  did dual roles on the story dealing with corruption and apathy of officials. One side of the track  was  Senapathy, a meticulous old man who kills top Government officials in an extreme attempt to weed out corruption.  His son (played by Kamal again) Chandru is a small-time broker aspiring to become an official – he arranges issuance of FC for a vehicle in poor condition which is later involved in an accident killing many school children.  Senapathy set to avenge and correct the corrupt society goes on a spree killing corrupt officials and tries to kill his son Chandru too !

A few months back,  I had a pleasant experience at the RTO office at Mandaveli when I had my driving licence renewed – it was so quick and simple process.  Here is an article in Mail Online titled ‘Bribes, corruption and touts: Safety of Delhi's roads compromised by black market for trade vehicle certificates ’ -  that mounts scathing attack on rampant corruption.  It starts with a strong assail – ‘Commercial vehicles in Delhi don’t need technicians to stay fit, but touts’ and goes on stating that at Regional Transport Office in Burari money can buy the services of touts who can provide fitness certificates for commercial vehicles in the Capital.

A Mail Today investigation at the RTO in Burari has once again exposed the corrupt system in place at the RTO, as a result of which no one can get a fitness certificate for his commercial vehicle unless palms are greased. Burari is the only centre with an inspection unit for all kinds of commercial vehicles in the Capital.   The touts, who roam around freely in and around the RTO precinct, act as the link between an applicant for a fitness certificate and the officials at the transport authority office.

This Mail Today journalist pretended to be a transporter and spoke with the touts, officials and several transporters and found that whether it is for a fitness certificate or any other certificate needed by a commercial vehicle, one has to go to these touts. It cites a city-based transporter owning  several trucks and tempos. He keeps visiting the Burari office to get his vehicles’ certificates. But he never goes to the counters. He prefers to spend a few thousand of rupees extra to get all the documents through the touts. He said even though he tried once, he didn’t succeed in getting the fitness certificates without paying a bribe.

That person is quoted as saying - “There are 10 parameters. Officials will make you visit the office again and again for some reason. Who wants this? It is better that you just pay some extra money and get it done in a few hours’ – more damaging is the statement that even if the vehicle is not completely fit to run on city roads, a fitness certificate will be issued within a few hours; one  can get away with the speed governor which is mandatory for some commercial vehicles in Delhi. About 29 lakh vehicles in Delhi are over 15 years old, and they may not be issued registration certificates again after the National Green Tribunal’s recent order, because they add to rising pollution levels.  The  commercial vehicles are rendered unfit in just about three to four years because of heavy duty use; and they need a fitness certificate every year.

The post states that the fitness certificate certified by authorities does not guarantee that the vehicle is actually fit. The journalist told the tout that he has a vehicle which is in poor condition, that its body vibrates and the brake doesn’t work properly. The tout said: “No issues. The truck should only look good and the body should be painted. “Nobody will check these technical things once you come to us.

Certainly not happy to read the situation explained as prevalent in RTOs…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Dec 2014.

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