Bengaluru: 25K illegal autos in Bengaluru , but RTO sits on e-permit project

Bengaluru: To crack down on autorickshaws running with fake permits in Bengaluru, the transport department had decided to issue e-permits that are linked to Aadhaar cards of drivers. But months after the announcement, the regional transport office (RTO) is yet to issue e-permits, allowing illegal autorickshaws to continue to ply on city's roads.

As per records from the RTO, 1.25 lakh autorickshaws have been given permits. But in reality, there are over 1.5 lakh autos in the city, which means over 25,000 autos are running illegally, auto unions said.

Mr Rudramurthy, president, the Autorickshaw Drivers' Association, told Deccan Chronicle, "We cannot expect any action from RTO officials, because unscrupulous elements in the RTO have issued fake permits after taking bribes. Though officials have said that e-permits will be issued, we are sure that it will not happen. That is because these 25,000 auto drivers have paid bribes to officials."

The new e-permits will be tamper-proof, will not allow photocopying and will have several security features. All auto drivers have to renew their old permits to get the new e-permits. They have to bring their three-wheelers and permits to RTOs along with their Aadhaar cards, following which they will be issued new e-permits.

"I welcome this move as e-permits will streamline the entire sector and will kill the black market in permits. But there are many mediators between auto drivers and RTO officials who work only for money. Every year, autorickshaws go for fitness certification (FC), and RTO officials can easily check all the documents at that time, but still they won't. Inquiries should be conducted against RTO officials before issuing e-permits," Mr Rudramurthy said.

The concept of e-permit was introduced by the previous government, but the process has been delayed because of state Assembly elections and the new government in power, officials said. "There were also some internal issues. Soon, we will start issuing e-permits. During a recent drive, we booked 103 cases of autos with fake permits. Over the next few days, all RTOs in the city will have e-permit counters," a senior RTO official said.

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