Hyderabad: The notorious ‘Licence Raj’of the late 70s has ended, so you thought? In Hyderabad, the ‘Licence Raj’ continues, albeit at the local level. A visit to the RTA office, Khairatabad, exposes the brazen display of the ‘Licence Raj’ where touts call the shots.
One does not need to go through any driving tests or understand what road signs mean. Just approach touts, shell down a few extra bucks to get a licence.
The touts roam around offering help to anyone who wants a driving licence.
This correspondent talked to several agents, and all of them assured that the job would be done. When this correspondent approached a tout at Khairatabad RTA to ‘procure’ a licence for his sister, who cannot drive, the agent promised that it can be done, but for a price. The tout said the RTA officials get their cut.
“You tell your sister to learn how to hold the steering. On the day of the driving test, we will ensure that she will get a car used by driving schools. One of our guys will sit on the passenger seat and operate the accelerator and clutch,” the agent advised.
“We will guide her through the entire test. You don’t have to worry about anything. If you go through us, there is no chance she will fail the test,” another agent assured. But they advised us to apply for a learner’s license and wait for 30 days. “We cannot book a driving test slot for your sister unless the 30-day period is over,” he said.
Well, the mandatory test for learner’s licence could also be “managed”. One need not study the RTA “traffic signs” to get a learner’s licence. “Don’t worry about this test at all. It can be managed,” the tout promised. Áll one needs to do is shell out Rs 5,000, perhaps the cost to procure the ‘licence to kill’....