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Top cops train guns on civic body,RTO for traffic mess

Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and Joint Commissioner Rajendra Sonawane on Monday blasted the Regional Transport Office and civic bodies for their poor co-ordination with police,making it difficult for them to control traffic.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
July 21, 2009 3:47:40 am

Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and Joint Commissioner Rajendra Sonawane on Monday blasted the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and civic bodies for their poor co-ordination with police,making it difficult for them to control traffic.

However,both the PMC and the RTO denied the allegations saying they have extended all help to the police in streamlining the traffic.

The senior police officials were addressing the media during the launch of GIS based Accident Report and Analysis system (ARS),developed by Janwani,an NGO supported by Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).

Sonawane was more aggressive as he said,“RTO is blindly issuing licences. Touts have a free run at the RTO premises. People not fit for driving get licences. Traffic engineering is in a shambles.” Sonawane said there are two civic bodies,three cantonments and other government offices. “We have been writing to heads of these bodies,but they don’t have time,” he alleged.

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Agreeing with him,Singh said: “When I was IG of Konkan range,a survey of accidents revealed that 80 per cent of the trucks involved in accidents got driving licence from agents. I had raised the issue even before. Almost 70 per cent of the licences at RTO are given by agents”.

“There are 750 luxury buses in city. Of these,only 200 have permit. Of the 52,000 auto-rickshaws,16,000 are plying illegally. Traffic police can only fine them with Rs 500. But the corporations can fine Rs 5,000. We asked the PMC to work with police if they have manpower shortage. The PMC worked for two days and then did not do anything due to political pressure. However,everyone blames traffic police,” Singh said.

Singh said he has requested District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar to conduct a joint meeting of police and other government authorities on traffic problems.

Refuting the charges,PMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Umakant Dangat said PMC has provided all possible help. “The police remarks are shocking… We have provided all help. PMC recruited traffic wardens from its expenses to help the city police in streamlining the traffic and also provided the required infrastructure”.

The RTO,too,has denied the charges. “We have to deal with around 850 learning licences applications on a daily basis,which are not issued until the applicants go through necessary tests. Apart from this,there are daily 500 to 550 driving licence applications,of which about 450 are for two-wheelers. Driving tests are conducted in everybody’s presence. There are computerised tests and biometric technology for purposes of identification. All these tests nullify the presence of touts or agents,if there are any,” said RTO Chandrakant Kharatmal.

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