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RTO absurdity, nay criminality

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Hundreds of Bangalore-bound tourists from Tamil Nadu were stranded for hours on Sunday when taxi operators resorted to a snap strike at the check-post, near Hosur. The strike followed a sudden decision by the Karnataka transport department to enforce a new rule that vehicles entering the state pay entry tax for the entire year, instead of the weekly payment that was in practice. The earlier rule allowed vehicles entering the state to pay tax for the number of days they planned to remain in Karnataka. As RTO officials posted at the check-post demanded payment of entry tax, drivers were taken unawares. The situation snowballed into a confrontation as tourist cabbies entering the state went on a flash strike.

Some 10,000 vehicles from neighbouring states enter Bangalore every day during peak tourism season of December-January. Until now, these vehicles used to pay entry tax for a week or more. Weekly payment was about Rs 620. New rule says they must pay entry tax for the whole year irrespective of the duration of their stay. Payment runs up to Rs 20,000. ‘We’re complying with an HC order’.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

This is not just absurd, but totally criminal. The hardship caused to tens of thousands of people is immeaurable. As such, not only should the official responsible for this move be sacked summarily, but even part of the damages caused should be recovered from his salary accruals, in order to send out a clear message that they can't get away acting in such irresponsible ways.

The courts don't make laws; they just interpret them. If there was some infirmity in the law, necessary steps should have been taken to correct them, instead of resoting to such criminalities.

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