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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa High Court today directed State Transport Secretary to rehabilitate the driven-out RTO agents by engaging them at e-kiosks to be set up within 6 weeks on the premises of Regional Transport Offices across the State.

Though the Court rejected the plea of agents seeking permission to operate from the premises of RTO Offices, it expressed resentment over thousands of agents losing their livelihood.

Sources said the HC has asked the Transport Secretary to make a list of such agents and complete the entire process within two months. The Court also directed the Secretary to appoint student volunteers at these e-kiosks until the agents are appointed.

The orders came while hearing of a case challenging the Transport Commissioner's order to ban the entry of brokers/agents/middlemen to these offices.

"The court ordered to appoint agents at the e-kiosks within two months. The RTOs will identify the hard-working agents and then appoint them," said advocate of the petitioner Dibyaloka Mahapatra.

President of Motor Vehicle Field Workers’ Union, Uttam Charan Bhatt said, "Many of us are engaged in this work for years so the government should rehabilitate us. There is no problem if youths are being inducted but we should also be rehabilitated."

In response, State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, "We will try to ensure rehabilitation of the agents so that they can help people who come to the RTOs for MV-related works."

In September, the Odisha government had issued orders barring entry of such middlemen/agents in the RTOs.

Reportedly, Transport Commissioner Sanjeeb Panda had issued a letter to all RTOs of the State asking them to take strict measures to eliminate influence of agents/middlemen and create a people-friendly atmosphere in offices under their control.

 

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