RTOs given target of 26,000 cases a month
Meeting targets and generating revenue is not limited to the corporate world alone. Officials at Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) have been given targets to meet for filing cases. After being directed by the State government to take action against motorists flouting road safety rules, the Transport Commissioner has directed RTOs to file 26,000 cases every month.
“Targets have been fixed for each RTO. Instructions have been given to them to book cases pertaining to overloading, not wearing seatbelts, unauthorised modification of vehicles, and others. In August, the field officials managed to achieve 80% of their targets,” said Transport Commissioner N. Shivkumar. The Commissioner had also warned of taking action against officials in charge for lapses in enforcement activities.
However, following this is not an easy task for field officials who say they are understaffed. The shortage of motor vehicle inspectors at the RTO level is a burden, said one field official. According to sources, the department has around 214 senior inspector posts of which only 116 are filled. There are 430 posts for inspectors but only 125 inspectors are working; the remaining posts are vacant. Due to various factors including legal issues, posts remain vacant for years.
An RTO official pointed out that targets have to be met in conjunction with other department work. “We have to manage with the available staff and book cases against violators. In addition to staff shortage, we are facing other issues too,” said an RTO official. He pointed out that while the traffic police in Bengaluru are using gadgets to file cases, they are stuck with issuing challans. “With this outdated system, it takes us at least 20 minutes to file a case. There is a need to shift to advanced technology to carry out enforcement. We are also facing problems of space when it comes to parking impounded vehicles in Bengaluru,” the official added.
Some of the RTOs in Bengaluru are also facing accusations that they are using unauthorised people to flag down the vehicles on roads.
Vishwanth, secretary of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners’ Association, said, “On highways, lorry drivers are often subjected to harassment. Officials use unauthorised people to collect money from the drivers and cases are filed against only a few vehicles. Higher ups in the department must address these issues while instructing field officials to do more enforcement activities. If not, this harassment will continue.”