This reporter came to realise this after waiting outside a transport official’s office while his subordinates were busy trying to gather the information she sought. It was then that the official had a visitor — a middle-aged woman and a young man.
The woman introduced herself as a government staffer working with the Health Department and the young man was her nephew. She said, “My nephew is interested in launching a start-up in the city. We heard that the transport department has started issuing licence for bike taxis and so we came to meet you.”
She further requested him to award the licence to her nephew in a first-come-first served basis. The official enquired with another colleague and found that the department has sent a proposal to the government, and is yet to approve it.
But the woman insisted that the official give priority to her nephew once the proposal is accepted. She then asked him about the commission and other not-quite-legal payments involved with the bike taxi project.
The mindful official asked her to provide a contact number and gave a manual related to bike taxis for free. When they had left, he turned to this reporter and wondered out loud, “Look, how people try to bribe us.”
But, he disappeared along with the contact details of the duo for the next half-an-hour.
— Nivedhika Krishnan, Chennai