Cash is king, corruption is the currency at RTO

If you are willing to spend cash then you can get HSRP (High Security Registration Plate) of your new or old vehicle by avoiding long queues at the RTO and without taking the mandatory online appointment. RTO has banned agents but they still operate in the premises. Claiming ‘setting’ with ‘saheb (official)’, they promise to get the job done in a jiffy without standing in queues or two to three hours of wait. RTO has made HSRP compulsory for new as well as old vehicles. The fee is Rs 400 for a four-wheeler, Rs 140 for a twowheeler, Rs 180 for a 3-wheeler and Rs 420 for trucks and heavy commercial vehicles. However, the agents charge Rs 650 for a two-wheeler and Rs 1,000 for cars by promising to get it done directly from the ‘higher ups’, without appointment.

Sting operation
Mirror carried out a sting operation after several readers pointed out that corruption breeds at RTO and agents rule the premises without impunity. Posing as owners of a new two-wheeler, AM reporters reached RTO on Tuesday. Immediately, an ‘agent’ approached the reporters and asked: “What are you here for?” When told that they were there to get HSRP installed, he claimed to get the job done for Rs 650, bypassing long queues and online application. He promised to get the plate installed in one hour. (see box for transcript of chat with the agent.)

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Official process takes two-three days
Usually, a new vehicle owner first gets a message from the RTO about the number allotted to the vehicle. Then the owner has to make an online application to seek appointment for installation of HSRP, which is usually granted after two-three days. At the appointed hour, he has to reach window number 10 at RTO and show the receipt of the HSRP fee paid to the dealer at the time of purchase and printout of the online appointment. He has to then wait at least two to three hours and await his turn for installation.

Officials promise inquiry
Principal Secretary (transport) Vipul Mitra commented: “We have centralised the entire system to facilitate citizens and remove corruption. In fact, we have started the system wherein the buyer can get the HSRP installed at the dealer. He or she need not even go to the RTO. As regards the case you pointed out, we will definitely look into it and get hold of the agent. We will match the records of online appointments made and the HSRPs installed which will throw up the discrepancy of plates installed without online appointments. Transport Commissioner R M Jadhav said: “We will probe the incident and also nab the agent. We will also ask the concerned officials to find out how many HSRPs have been installed without online appointment.” Regional Transport Officer G S Parmar said: “Agents are banned in RTO. We usually catch hold of people who claim to be agents and hand them over to the police. As such it is not possible to install HSRPs without taking an online appointment. But we will look into the matter.”

Transcript of chat with the agent
Agent:What are you here for?
AM:Get HSRP installed for our new two-wheeler.
Agent:Have you received the message about allotment of vehicle number?
AM:Yes. But the message is in another mobile at home.
Agent: Where do you live?
Agent: Have you taken online appointment?
Agent: It does not matter. Just get me the message you received informing you of your vehicle number.
AM:Is it possible to get the HSRP installed without online appointment?
Agent:Leave that to me. It’s not necessary. Just get the message and it will get it done in one hour.
AM:Are you an RTO employee or employed with HSRP agency?
Agent: No. I am an agent.
AM:How much will you charge?
Agent: Rs 650 for two-wheeler
and Rs 1,000 for four-wheeler.
AM:Be reasonable, Rs 650 is too much.
Agent: I have to pass on the money to officials also. I can’t afford anything less.
AM:Ok. I will come tomorrow. What is your name?
Agent:Kalubhai. Just jot down my number.

– Ancela Jamindar

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