Monday, August 02, 2010

Harassed by Rickshaw walas in Bangalore?

Preface: Got the following info through an email from a friend. Thought of sharing it with a wider audience.

You are in a hurry to catch the train. You pack all your stuff and frantically run out in the hope of catching an auto. You come out and see 5 autos standing at the corner. You thank God and ask them - "Majestic chaloge kya??” The Answer is "Rs 200 hoga!!”. "Kya?? It just cost Rs 100 till Majestic". "Bahut rush hai sir!!". You move on to the next auto, to try your luck and surprisingly, you have the same conversation "Bahut rush hai sir!!". Finally you give up and bargain the price to Rs 170 and hope you don't miss your train.

Sounds more than familiar??

You stand on the road and keep on asking the passing autos for a ride to your destination - if it's not your day, the autos will not even bother to stop; if you're a bit lucky they might actually slow down to hear your destination' s name and think for a second (I always wonder if they are calculating their net profit) and then speed away. However if you are more lucky, the auto guy might actually quote you an exorbitant price and then speed away. But if it's your extremely lucky hour of the day, you might end up getting an auto which is ready to take you to the destination at meter price.

In my six years of existence in Bengaluru, these experiences have been really instrumental in teaching me great virtues - Patience and Tolerance. But at what price??? exorbitant rates, extremely rude behavior and what not ......
After years of feeling used, I set out to find the answer for this misery - was there no government system that could bring these auto guys to justice? As a citizen, how can I express my concern?

This search took me to the Koramangala RTO office (BDA complex) and to my surprise, I found that there does exist a government system which I believe 99.99% of Bengaluru is unaware of !! 

The System

Note the vehicle number (KA-XX-YY-ZZZZ) and email the details to transcom@kar. Based on the prefix XX (for example KA-01), complaint will be sent to one of the ten RTO offices in Bangalore and adjacent taluk areas.
Alternatively, one can also call these offices at the number given below based on the vehicle number prefix and directly lodge a complaint.

Vehicle Prefix (KA-XX) Bangalore location Phone number:
  • KA-01 Koramangala 080-25533525
  • KA-02 Rajajinagar 080-23324104
  • KA-03 Indiranagar 080-25254310
  • KA-04 Yeshwantpur 080-23376039
  • KA-05 Jayanagar 080-26630989
  • KA-41 Gyanabharthi 080-28602833
  • KA-50 Yelahanka 080-28561366
  • KA-51 Electronic City 080-25735522
  • KA-52 NeelaMangala 08234-285598
  • KA-53 KR Puram 080-25617951
Once the complaint is received at the corresponding office, a notice is issued to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner, requiring him/her to turn up at the RTO office within 7 working days. Every RTO has about 10 IMV’s (Inspector of Motor Vehicles) who seize the vehicles which don’t report to the RTO.

The penalty levied from the auto-walas is Rs.100 under section 200.

The various offences among others for which one can lodge a complaint
  • Refusal to come to destination (Any destination! !!)
  • Demanding excess fare
  • Using rough language
  • Cheat the public, for e.g. taking longer routes.
  • Faulty Meter
There is also a helpline number - 080-22353785 available Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm on which one can call to lodge complaints.

The numbers speak for themselves

I was shocked when I found that the Koramangala RTO office received only 5 complaints a month. With over 1,00,000 autos plying on Bangalore roads, shouldn’t it be like 5 complaints a minute?

What’s wrong with the system?
  • Lack of Awareness among the Bangalore citizens
  • The system is inefficient in data gathering- emails or phone calls cannot be stored and processed properly, leading to ineffective use of these complaint data.
  • Converting these complaints into notices issued to vehicle owners is still a manual process
  • Limited government officials to handle
So, will our impatience always have to take a backseat? Can something be done to improve/compliment the system to make it more effective? Will we get a better platform to raise our voices democratically?

(Source Unknown)