Regional transport offices set to undertake massive digitisation drive in Maharashtra

Maharashtra will soon undertake a mass digitisation initiative to include online challan payments, e-documents and e-reminders for renewal of vehicle insurance.

Written by Neha Kulkarni | Mumbai | Published:September 19, 2016 1:13 am

IN ORDER to facilitate smoother payment for commuters and ensure a centralised database, the road transport department of the state government will soon undertake a mass digitisation initiative to include online challan payments, e-documents and e-reminders for renewal of vehicle insurance.

The process will begin with upgrading vehicle-related and driver-related software that is used by the regional transport offices (RTOs) — called Vahan and Sarathi. This will help maintain a uniform database of vehicle information and motor vehicle driving licences on a single platform.

“We are working on upgrading these two softwares across RTOs in the state, which will have a web version of every required information of the vehicle and driver. With a distributed architecture at present in every office, the other RTO has no idea of the records of the other. This issue will be solved, which will also officer to have a real-time data access of any information required. For us, we can have a detailed account of each vehicle passing through each border check post and toll naka on an immediate basis,” said Transport Commissioner Preveen Gedam.

The development will also help commuters avail services online without having to visit an RTO. “Applying for licence, renewing licence etc can be done online. Due to this move, commuters’ geographical limitations of visiting RTOs located at a distance from their homes is erased,” said another senior transport department official.

While the upgraded version of Sarathi is already in use in Kolhapur, Vahan’s developed version is being used on a trial basis at the Vashi RTO.

“As this a web-based version, seamless Internet connectivity is being pursued. Our aim is to at least focus on two RTOs in the city and the state for working of this model. Hopefully, RTOs across Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur and Aurangabad will have this facility by the end of September,” added Gedam.

The department is also planning to bring a system of electronic challans to be used by transport and traffic officials. The system will help enforcement officials gauge repeat offenders and also access a detailed record of the vehicle and its driver, if caught.

“E-challan will be a very simple, easy-to-use mobile application which will help enforcement officials fetch records of repeat offenders and levy penalties accordingly. At present, with no proper database of the erring drivers, possibility exists that the same person is being fined repeatedly for the same offence. E-challan will help any official suspend a licence if the driver is found erring on a repeated basis,” the official said.

A web-based software for paying challans will also be in place for commuters to pay their dues. “The web-based system will help commuters pay their dues or challans online. The e-challan will also be GPS-enabled to keep a track of each official’s location to cross-check it with his assigned duty spot,” the official added.

Also, M-parivahan, an application to store digitised vehicle-related documents, will be ready soon. The digital wallet will store signed documents of one’s licence, registration copy and every other vehicle-related documents in it.

Civic activists and experts called the move a healthy one to improve documentation processes. “This is a move in the right direction by the transport authorities. The digitisation of data will give them a database system and help commuters avail renewal facilities of their documents at a click. What they must also look at is a proper link-up of the records with traffic police and RTOs so that duplication is avoided,” said transport expert A V Shenoy.

Software upgrade of Vahan and Sarathi
Objective: Uniform database system for transport authorities and online licence application for vehicle-users
When: September-end (Mumbai)

E-challan
Objective:
To help enforcement officials nab repeat offenders and allow commuters make challan payment online on web version
When: In 2 more months

M-Parivahan
Objective: Will store digitised vehicle-related documents linked with mobile and Aadhaar numbers
When: App test awaited

Online payment for number-plates renewal
Objective:
To help vehicle users make payments online to avail fancy number plates; revenue for transport dept
When: A few more months

neha.kulkarni@expressindia.com