Coming to registration, it was a very bitter experience. Since ours was the first electric scooter to be registered in Shivamogga, I had to fight with the RTO people to get it registered. I have visited the RTO continuously for a week, leaving all my work only to wait there and fight. Before buying the scooter, I had enquired with the local RTO regarding the registration. They ensured me that they will follow the same procedure as followed in Bengaluru. But later it was a complete U turn. Even though, all electric two wheeler are exempted from road tax, they were forcing me to pay tax at 4% of the vehicle value, which would be around Rs 5000. I even showed them the notification about the tax exemption being put up on the RTO Karnataka website and the Karnataka Electric Vehicle Policy.
I tried to convince them that the vehicle is exempted from tax in Bengaluru itself. Yet, they would not agree. Especially, the accounts superintend, Mr. Bhosle acted as the main villain . He was very rude and arrogant with us. He treated us as if we are desperately trying to evade tax. I repeatedly told him I did not have any problem with paying the tax, but my argument was why should I when the legislation clearly exempts it? They themselves were not updated. Upon that they would blame me for producing outdated documents. They said that the government has amended the bill and the new rule is to collect 4% tax. We were so fed up with them, that we even thought of approaching the local news paper to publicise the harassment done by the RTO officials. The other option for us was to bring it to Bengaluru, get it registered and take it back. Again, all this was frustrating. Fortunately, there was one officer, who was very friendly. He understood our problem and assured that he would help us. He contacted the Indranagara RTO, enquired about the procedure to register an electric vehicle. With his help, finally we got it registered. Mr.Bhosle was still reluctant to carry on with the registeration process. He reluctantly signed it, stating that one day we would be caught by the police for not paying the tax and that we had to face the consequence. Since the job was done, I did not care much about him and his words. After a month, I visited the RTO and found out that Mr.Bhosle was transferred else where. Probably, he was posted in Shivamogga only to trouble us.
In the mean time, I had given many demos about the Ather to the curious people in and around the RTO . I had become quite famous among the RTO agents as “BATTERY GAADI AVARU” meaning the BATTERY VEHICLE FELLOW . Once I had gone to a furniture shop. I was shocked when the owner there suddenly asked me whether the RTO people registered my electric scooter. Upon asking how did he come to know about that, he told that he had seen me arguing with the RTO officials, when he had come there on some work.