Friday, January 12, 2018

Start manual option again, says citizen to RTO


PUNE: With all services of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) online since November 2017, many applicants are finding it difficult to operate the system and have demanded that apart from online, a manual system should also be in place at the RTO.

All RTO services, including vehicle tax payment, application for change of address and application for change of vehicle ownership, are now available on their web portal, in a bid to reduce the number of touts active on its office premises and to make processes involved easier. reporter found many residents who couldn’t complete their work online continued to visit the office and were being serviced by on-site touts. Pune regional transport officer, Babasaheb Ajari, said, "All licence-related services of the RTO are online. Now, services related to vehicles like tax payment, change of ownership in case the vehicle is sold, change of address and loan-related works have also gone online from November 1." 

RTO officials said that currently, there is a one window system at the RTO office at Sangam bridge where applicants are expected to submit their filled forms, documents and the receipts of fees paid online. RTO officials were also hopeful that the growing number of ‘agents’ at the RTO premises would reduce drastically. Yet, this doesn't seem to have happened. Even as many touts claimed that their businesses has suffered to some extent, since RTO services went online, the presence of agents at the RTO premises has failed to reduce. 

“With most services gone online, footfall at the RTO has reduced. But there still are people who find the online system confusing and need help. Also, not all people are good at operating the internet, so many applicants need our help. It keeps our business running,” said an agent on terms of anonymity.

Kiran Desai, secretary of the Pune Bus Owners Association (PBOA), says, “The online system has made things like the payment of vehicle tax very convenient, but this system is more useful for those who are technologically sound. Currently, Pune has a large number of autorickshaw owners or other transport vehicle owners who are not educated enough and therefore, find it difficult to operate the online system. Considering this, the RTO should have a parallel manual system at the RTO premises for at least six months.”

An applicant, Sudesh Kulkarni, said, “Once documents are uploaded, there is a limited time frame in which the person has to complete the remaining procedures, failing which the system transfers it to the pending list. After this, the system is not accessible for an-hour-and-a-half. Many people get confused and visit the RTO but there is no help-desk to solve their queries, which is also a problem.”

Another applicant, Atmaram Jahagirdar, said, "I was finding it difficult to fill the form for the learner’s license test online. Hence, I decided to visit the RTO, but I couldn't find any authorised official at the RTO to help me with the process and the only people coming forward were the touts. RTO is a very confusing place and I couldn’t locate anything. Later, I found boards explaining the online form filling and appointment process and decided to avoid the touts."


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