Need RTO Agents with Knowledge of Transport Laws, Says Transport Minister
Mumbai State Transport Minister DiwakarRaote faced severe criticism for supporting the legalisation of the RTO agents. Raote told that a section of e media had reported his statement in “bad Light”
Raote said on Tuesday that he was just “exploring the possibility of appointing people with a law background as intermediaries, representatives or agents for RTOs— similar to the courts. Their responsibility will be purely to help applicants and ease the overall work at RTOs.”
He also said that he had discussed the issue with the transport secretary on Tuesday. He has asked the secretary” whether persons educated in law who have better knowledge of transport-related laws could be ideal persons for the job”. “We are looking at it from the point of view of providing new employment opportunities to law graduates. We also discussed whether fees can be decided in future to bring in total transparency.” said the minister.
Many bureaucrats and citizens’ group could not digest the statement of legalising the RTO agents.
“Why create one more layer for citizens to approach the RTO? At a time when the chief minister is reducing the number of permissions for the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ drive, one of his cabinet ministers is thinking of creating an additional layer. This is ridiculous,” said an activist.
The idea of legalizing the agents is against the stand taken by the transport commissioner Mahesh Zagade, who is on a movement to remove corruption at RTOs. He wants to put a stop to the touts. “It is shocking that the transport minister is floating the idea of legalizing agents when he should be backing the government officer in fighting corruption,” said a senior IAS officer in support of Zagade.
Zagade was not willing to comment on the minister’s statement, although sources in the transport commissioner’s office said that the legalization move will be parallel to giving “licence to corruption” in society. An official said legalizing touts will require amending the law and asked whether the minister would go as far as that in “supporting corruption”.
However, Minister Raote, has denied all the charges against him on the issue and said that he was strictly against the corruption and he did not want to contradict the efforts of Zagade.
According to the public, it is not good to have agents in any service and they have to be banned. They feel that the involvement of agents will increase the chances of bribery in the transport department.