If all goes as planned, you will no longer have to go through the hassle of visiting the Regional Transport Office and wait in line for hours to avail yourself of its services.
After reducing fines under the newly implemented Motor Vehicles Act, the state government is now planning to take the entire RTO system online. It is also giving serious thought to roping in a private company to handle the system so that citizens do not have to deal with ‘slow servers’ and ‘missing records’ once the system goes online.
Government is finalising the move following backlash from people who have been crowding RTOs across the State to avoid paying hefty fines for not carrying the proper documentation. They have been rushing to RTOs to apply for fresh driving licences, renew licences, get vehicle registration papers and validate documents.
While the government has deferred implementation of stringent fines for not wearing helmet or carrying Pollution Under Control certificates to October 15, it has still collected Rs 55 lakh fine just from Ahmedabad city alone in the first two days.
Highly places sources told Mirror that to ensure public sentiment does not turn against it ahead of by-elections on seven Assembly seats as well as elections in eight Corporations in December, the BJP government is making these changes to the system.
“No one wants to pay hefty fines but citizens are struggling to get their documents at RTOs. There are huge lines, the servers are slow, and even data has been reported missing from RTO records. People are being forced to visit the RTO twice or thrice for no fault of theirs. This has upset many.
They are already asking why the government did not have facilities in place before implementing such a decision, or why it did not implement the decision phase-wise to avoid hassling the public. Sensing the people’s sentiments was swaying against it, the government decided to smoothen the way for the public,” sources revealed.
There are 16 RTOs and 18 Assistant Regional Transport Offices (ARTOs) in the State.
RTOs issue nine different types of licence-related matter like issuing learner’s licence, driving licence, renewals, duplicate copies, Change of address, endorsement (addition of another class of vehicle), public service vehicle badge, international driving licence and conductor licence. The RTOs also handles 17 different registration-related works and issues 11 kinds of permits.
Confirming the news, a senior government official who is close to the development, told Mirror, “The government is mulling on revamping the system at RTOs along the lines of the one at passport centres. Most of the passport processes are available online. A private agency handles the system and keeps it running smoothly. The government is planning to adopt the same model for RTO-related work. People will still have to go to the RTO to give their driving test, but the rest of the paperwork and payment can be done online. It will also eliminate the need for touts and curb corruption.”
Currently, most RTO offices are functioning with 40 per cent staff deficit. Appointment for a new licence in Ahmedabad takes months. The current waiting for driving test is more than two months.
To reduce this time, the state government has also decided to keep RTO offices open on Sundays for now.