Rs 1,500 assistance: Maharashtra Rickshaw unions form groups to tackle chaos, fraud

Mumbai: The auto rickshaw unions have formed mini groups in western, eastern suburbs and MMR to tackle chaos and confusion among 4.50 lakh drivers applying for Rs 1500 relief owing to lockdown for the period May 1 to May 15.

On May 21, the union representatives were given training by the RTO authorities on filling up details on the website. The link will get active from May 22.

On Friday afternoon, the RTO officials gave training to their staffs and auto rickshaw union representatives on handling the process of transferring Rs 1500 to bank accounts of auto rickshaw permit holders. By evening, the link was opened for them for their reference and further understanding. This can be accessed both by individual permit holders and union representatives and then details be filled out.

“We have given training to our staff and at each district level, our RTO officers are training the auto rickshaw union representatives. The most important part is that the drivers’ bank account should be Aadhar linked on basis of which OTP gets generated and the transaction takes place. If the two aren’t linked then the process will not complete,” said Avinash Dhakne, Maharashtra Transport Commissioner.

Sources in the RTO said that they have segregated the permit holders into 3 main types; these being the actual permit holder, those who have got permit on the names of their wives and those who got permits from a third person after getting name transferred. Some of the mandatory details to be filled in are the name of the permit holder, permit number, license, Aadhar card detail and bank account linked to it.

Earlier this month, the auto permit holders alleged that they were being duped of Rs 100 per person for filling up these forms by illegal touts and unions. “There is no doubt that one of the issues cropping up is the allegations made by these permit holders about fraud as it involves transaction of money. And the union is at risk of getting a bad name. However we will do our best in easing the transaction,” said Uttam Sasane, vice president, Swabhimaan Auto Rickshaw Sanghatana.

Another issue that can crop us is that there are quite a few permit holders who either do not have an Aadhar Card or don’t have it linked with their bank accounts. The RTOs in Andheri, Borivali, Wadala and other offices in MMR have formed 10 member committees to ensure smooth management of this monetary aid.

“We have also formed groups in western, eastern suburbs and MMR at local level to interact with permit holders. This will help us in addressing their queries faster and uploading data as well on the website,” said Thampi Kurien, auto rickshaw union leader.

The Maharashtra government had announced a relief package of Rs 107 crore to 7.15 lakh for auto rickshaw permit holders across the state. Of these, there are 4.50 lakh permit holders in MMR alone. The unions are demanding another Rs 1500 for the extended lockdown until May end.

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Free Press Journal