Posted On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 01:57:44 PM
In probably the first such opposition to queries under the Right To Information Act, 2005, a major part of the staff at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) struck work without warning at 12.30 pm on Tuesday to protest RTI applications by a city-based transport operator.
RTO staff representatives alleged that the RTI applicant, Dattatrey Ghule, was “misbehaving” with them while insisting on satisfactory replies to his queries on non-recovery of vehicle tax amounting to around Rs 26 lakh from 2001-10. Ghule said he has filed RTI queries about vehicle tax worth Rs 26 lakh that has been not recovered by the RTO from 134 vehicles.
|RTO staff protest Ghule’s ‘misbehaviour’ on Tuesday
The problem was finally solved when senior RTO officials met with the striking staff and Ghule and the strike was called off after two hours.
Ghule said he has filed several RTI queries with the RTO in the past. Being dissatisfied with some of the answers he appealed to senior authorities.
He said, “These vehicles are on the roads since 2001, but RTO has not recovered tax even after these vehicle were registered with the office.”
During this period, there is no mention of the evasion of the said tax, hence the audit for these years is wrong.”
In the past Ghule’s RTI query about outdated auto rickshaws was unsatisfactory. He said, “Auto rickshaws that are running on CNG or LPG must get inspected every five years to ascertain if the tank is fit for use or not. The RTO has to keep a record of such tanks so that tanks being used without passing can be easily caught. Such tanks are dangerous for the public.”
He added, “The information that I have sought and got from the RTO may just be the tip of the iceberg, which is why they want to discourage me from filing further RTI queries.”
Deputy RTO Ajit Shinde said, “When I came to know about the issue I summoned our staff members and Ghule as well. Staff members were alleging that Ghule was pressurising them. We have discussed the issue. We told him that if he has some issues about the functioning of the RTO then he has several constitutional options. After the meeting he also agreed with our suggestion.” However, Ghule said the issue remains unresolved.
► RTO has not recovered tax even after these vehicle were registered with it. During this period, there’s no mention of tax evasion, hence the audit is wrong
- Dattatrey Ghule, RTI Applicant