Fleecing in RTA offices decried
Citizens and auto-rickshaw unions are crying foul over the unjustified collection of charges from the vehicle owners in various RTA offices, including parking areas and other facilities, in the name of societies. The vehicle owners, who go to the RTA offices for fitness certificates, registration certificates, licenses, permits and other works.
Hyderabad: Citizens and auto-rickshaw unions are crying foul over the unjustified collection of charges from the vehicle owners in various RTA offices, including parking areas and other facilities, in the name of societies. The vehicle owners, who go to the RTA offices for fitness certificates, registration certificates, licenses, permits and other works, are forced to pay parking fee and other service charges.
- Auto-rickshaw Unions charge officials of forcing everyone entering the office premises to pay for parking fee and others
- They allege that collection of fee is carried out in the name of societies
- Joint Commissioner, however, clarifies that fee being collected is used for helping the employees in need and also keeping the premises spick and span. He denies that there is any misuse of funds
As per law, parking fee cannot be collected on a government premises but in most of the RTA offices, the citizens are forced to shell out money for parking and that to on hourly basis. Some auto-rickshaw union leaders have alleged that the employees have given a name for their “loot.” According to an auto-rickshaw union leader, the officials started Transport Department Employees Cooperative Society and were involved in collecting parking charges and giving shops on rent to private persons.
They argued that the societies were not answerable for the amount collected as the collected amount was not going into the government account. “The shopkeepers on the RTA premises take advantage of gullibility of the people who come to the office for the first time and end up paying more than what needs to be paid,” said G Vinod Kumar, who came for registration of his vehicle at Mehdipatnam RTA. The parking fee collected at Khairatabad is Rs 10 an hour and the shops collect more for making a photo copy of a document.
They collect different types of fees while enjoying free power and premises provided by the government, said the union leader. The society gave shops on rent and there is no idea where the money goes. “The forms used to be free at RTA offices and once the society came into existence the forms were sold for Rs 1 and again the price was increased to Rs 2 and there is a proposal to increase the price again, which is illegal,” said Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Association general secretary M Dayanand.
Another issue is the exorbitant parking fee in terms of seized vehicle. The seized vehicles involved in violation of laws are placed at local RTA offices or at RTC depots and also at police stations. After the RTO gives release orders, the vehicle owner is asked to pay between Rs 20 a day to Rs 100 a day for different class of vehicles. Around 100 to 200 vehicles are seized every day by the transport officials and are placed at these places.
The parking charges a day collected by the society at RTA offices is Rs 20 for auto-rickshaws, Rs 50 for DCMs and motor cabs, Rs 100 for lorries. The RTC is also collecting Rs 40 per vehicle a day, said the union leaders. “There are no orders from the government or from the RTC management to collect parking charges. If the officials say that they have right then why the police stations are not collecting money. Where is the money going,” asked Dayanand.
He said the services at government offices are streamlined but the employees have found a new way of cheating people in the name of societies. He demanded that the government take steps to put an end to the loot. Hyderabad Joint Transport Commissioner (JTC) T Raghunath who is also the president of the society said, the society was formed during 2002 during the tenure of Joint Commissioner C L N Gandhi. He said that every year audit is done and there are no irregularities found so far.
He said the amount collected in the form of rent and other activities is used for employees in need, gardening, clean and green initiatives on the premises and their office was awarded several times for maintaining clean and green initiatives. The contribution not only through rents but it is also from the employees, he added.