Pune RTO Introduces WhatsApp Helpline For Commuters Facing Auto Rickshaw Issues

Pune RTO Introduces WhatsApp Helpline For Commuters Facing Auto Rickshaw Issues

Pune RTO Introduces WhatsApp Helpline For Commuters Facing Auto Rickshaw Issues

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Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) takes steps to address grievances against auto rickshaw drivers.

16 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

In response to mounting complaints from commuters regarding issues such as fleecing, trip refusals and misbehaviour by auto rickshaw drivers, the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) has announced the launch of a permanent WhatsApp helpline. Starting from 1st June, commuters facing problems while hailing an autorickshaw in the city can now file complaints directly to the RTO via this helpline.

Pune regional transport officer Sanjiv Bhor stated, “We’ve been receiving numerous complaints from people regarding issues they face while using auto rickshaws in Pune. The autos refuse trips and overcharge, therefore in order to address these concerns, we are planning to launch a permanent WhatsApp helpline which will serve as a direct communication channel between commuters and the Regional Transport Office. Once the number is finalised, we will make further announcements for instructions.”

Currently, commuters can lodge complaints by emailing [email protected] or sending letters to the Pune RTO postal address. However, the limited accessibility of these channels has led to a relatively low number of complaints being received.

While the introduction of the WhatsApp helpline is a significant step towards addressing commuter grievances, concerns have been raised about the RTO’s capacity to handle the expected influx of complaints. With only a handful of ground teams in operation, officials anticipate challenges in managing the volume of complaints.

Despite this, auto unions have acknowledged the prevalence of issues such as trip refusals and fleecing and have called for reforms, including the closure of the open permit system for autos in Pune.

A working professional living in Dhayari, expressed reservations, stating, “The RTO has been talking about launching this WhatsApp number for years. I am not very upbeat about this announcement and doubt that things will change much.”