Pune: Within a week of Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) opening a new portal for receiving applications for grant of fresh auto-rickshaw permits, it has received as many as 10,000 applications and the flow of applications is continuing unabated in the second week as well.
On June 17, the State Home Ministry brought out a circular in which it discontinued the restrictions put on issuance of fresh permits by the then government in November 1997. For last 20 years, the number of auto permits in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur, Nashik and Aurangabad had been frozen.
“The process of verification of papers for auto-rickshaws permits has started. Appointments are given online. On the basis of ‘First in First out’ (FIFO), everyday 100 appointments are given, which is the target of RTO. Once the papers are found to be ok, approval is given online. An applicant can print his own permit order at home or at Citizens Service Centers (CSC). The applicant need come to the RTO office. It’s a clean transparent system,” said Balasaheb Ajari, Regional Transport Officer, Pune.
After the restrictions were done away with, the officials had expected that the number of auto-rickshaw permits would see a 25 to 30 per cent rise on the present number of rikshaws in the city, which stands at 46,006. The response, however, shows that the number would be much higher.
On the first day of opening up the portal to accept fresh applications, it had received 1,600 applications.
“We had received 10,000 applications till Sunday evening. We are yet to get the number of applications that were received since then,” said Ajri.
The high demand for the permits and very few processings per day (about 100) has resulted in a long waiting period for applicants before they appear for the interview and submission of documents. Those applying for the permit on Monday were getting an appointment in first week of October. “We are processing 100 applications per day. The applications are being alloted and messages sent to the concerned applicants by the National Informatics Centre. The number of applicants processed daily could go up next week, which will help us in reducing pendancy,” said Ajri.