Hyderabad: The steep increase in the fee for various services like registration of new vehicles, issue of driving licences, fitness certificates etc has triggered utter chaos at the Road Transport Authority (RTA) offices in the city. Although the notification regarding the revised rates was issued on December 29 by the Union government, the RTA officials failed to give wide publicity to the new fee to be collected for services relating to various classes of vehicles.
While talking to The Hans India, Bala Krishna, a resident of Kukatpally, expressed his dismay at being asked to cough up Rs 53,000 as ‘penalty’ for the delay in getting fitness certificate for his auto-rickshaw (AP 23Y 5639). As per the previous fee structure, the amount collected for issue of fitness certificate for an auto-rickshaw was just Rs 260. Bala Krishna wondered as to how he could raise Rs 53,000 to secure fitness certificate for his vehicle, which is not worth more than Rs 10,000.
Srikanth Dhaipule, resident of Bolarum, said he had applied for renewal of driving licence and had booked a slot on January 6 by paying Rs 710, including penalty. When he came to the office at Secunderabad on Wednesday, he was asked to pay another Rs 950 as the penalty had been revised. “I booked the slot before the notification was implemented. Why I should pay more. I will file a case against the department,” said Srikanth.
Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Union general secretary M Dayanand said this was nothing but daylight robbery. Nobody had stopped RTA officials from giving publicity in the newspapers and television channels. Citizens could not be penalised for the mistakes of officials, he underlined.
The Telangana Autodrivers Samakhya president, A Sathi Reddy, said the authorities should have first given information to motorists on the revised fee structure for various services.
People were already suffering on account of demonetisation. How could they now bear this heavy and unprecedented hike, he asked. Worse still, those who went to e-seva centres to pay the difference in amount as demanded by the RTA were in for a shock as the e-seva centres said they could not accept the difference in amount as they had no instructions from higher officials. “The system will not accept,” e-seva staff told fuming motorists.
When asked about it , sources in RTA said though the notification was issued by the Union government on December 29, no efforts were made to update the systems. As a result, they had been charging the motorists as per the previous rates, but it had now become mandatory to collect the difference in rates which had become a herculean task. “We cannot do anything as it is Central Gazette notification and it has to be implemented,” the source observed.
Joint Transport Commissioner B Venkateshwarlu said it was a fact that the department was not yet ready and was in the process of updating the systems. Things would become normal in couple of days, he said.