FREE SMS messaging service for India only that may prove to be incredibly useful for citizen groups and NGOs. The service allows anyone to set up a group of mobile subscribers to message to, or for a group to message each other many-to-many. A user can receive news alerts and blog updates via SMS, for example; or a group can group-text message to each other.
Mumbai: Close on the heels of a car dealer delivering an unregistered Audi 6 to the Pedder Road accident victim recently, state transport commissioner V N More has decided to introduce a four-level text message alert for all car registrations in Mumbai. The alerts will help citizens track the status of his/her car registrations, and whether the registration number has been allotted by the RTO or not. This will be for the first time that the RTO will be informing citizens through text alerts. The alerts will be at four different stages—car registration fees paid, inspection of vehicle done, road taxes paid and car number/ registration allotted, sources said.In the case of Peddar Road accident victim Phorum Ruparel, the new Audi 6 was delivered to her residence on Tuesday. But little did the family realize that the car was unregistered and the number plate on it was, therefore, illegal. This was highlighted by TOI, following which the Wadala RTO took suo motu cognizance of the case and had imposed a compounding fine of Rs 2,000 besides charging a penalty interest of Rs 13,220 for road tax not being paid by the dealer. "Though the family claims that it had paid the tax, the car dealer had failed to deposit it with the RTO. This attracted the penalty interest charges. Besides, the dealer had also failed to get the car inspected and the registration number was not allotted, causing embarrassment to the car owner," an RTO official said. More now wants every car owner to be on alert and keep tabs on the registration process. "From next week, we will introduce the SMS service not only in Mumbai, but in other districts of Maharashtra," he said. For example, once the car is inspected and the taxes paid, there will be SMSalerts. The moment the dealer deposits the registration fee, there will be another text message forwarded to the mobile number of the car owner. The SMS alerts will also be introduced for licences sent by speedpost. "The moment your licence or RC smartcard is ready for dispatch, you will receive a text message on your mobile," More added. INSTANT MESSAGE HOW WILL IT WORK The moment one buys a car, the dealer will ask the RTO for an inspection. Once inspection is done, he/she will receive a message The dealer will have to deposit the road tax with the RTO. Once the money is credited to the RTO account, the owner will get a text message Payment of registration fee will also be confirmed through a text message Once the registration number is allotted, the owner will get an SMS, after which he can affix a numberplate on the car NO CLUE ABOUT NEW CAR: MISHRAS The Mishras from Thane whose Elantra car was hit by the speeding Aston Martin on Pedder Road on December 9 say they have no clue about any new car being registered in the name of Smriti Mishra at the Thane RTO this week. However, the family has expressed anguish over different versions being presented by media about the incident. "Even the model of our car was wrongly reported. It was not a Corolla but an Elantra," Smriti told TOI. — Manoj Badgeri