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Monday, February 19, 2007


Most challans return, point not driven home
Nidhi Sharma | TNN: New Delhi: If you thought that you could bring auto drivers to book by lodging a complaint with the transport helpline, think again. The notices sent to them do not reach them most of the time. The reason is simple: the transport department does not have the right address.
Statistics provided by the department reveal that about 60%-75% of challans and notices return undelivered. The department had sent 4,975 challans to auto drivers between February and October 2006. Of these, 3,302 — that is a whopping 66.37% — were returned undelivered.
This number has been increasing steadily over the years. According to the reply given by the transport department to an RTI application filed by NGO Chetna, of the 19,907 notices issued to auto drivers between October 2002 and March 2003, 64.89% were returned. This number fell to 48.85% between April 2003 and April 2004 but increased suddenly to 62.67% from April 2004 to April 2005.
The department blames it on the number of times an auto changes hands. Delhi transport minister Haroon Yusuf said: ‘‘We are now in the process of updating the addresses. It’s a big problem — when an auto is sold off by the original owner, he does not bother to get the address updated in the department records. In some cases, the original owner may have hired out the vehicle to someone else. So, he obviously does not accept the challan when it is delivered to him.’’
When the helpline was launched, Delhi government had claimed that all you need to do is just make a phone call and the auto driver would be punished. Five years on, this claim has turned out to be hollow.
That’s not all. The statistics show there are multiple offences against a single driver. There are about 55,000 autos plying in Delhi. According to the transport department figures, submitted in the reply to an RTI application, till October 2006, there were 71,141 complaints pending against autos. This means approximately 1.3 complaints against each auto.
Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date:2007 Feb 17; Section:Times City; Page Number 2

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