PM gives up VIP ‘privilege’,goes to RTO to renew driving licence

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday went where no VVIP normally goes: the Transport Department’s Regional Transport Office...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 19, 2009 3:48 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday went where no VVIP normally goes: the Transport Department’s Regional Transport Office (RTO).

The PM,accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur,drove down to the Indraprastha Estate RTO and got his motor driving licence renewed. He turned down the Delhi Transport Department’s proposal to come over to Race Course Road for the renewal. Normally,VVIP driving licences are delivered to applicants’ addresses,bypassing usual procedures.

The Prime Minister’s Office insisted that Singh wanted his licence renewed with as little fuss as possible. There were specific instructions that the PM did not want Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit waiting for him at the Transport office. It is learnt that the PMO informed the Transport Department on Friday about Singh’s plans,and the RTO was especially opened on Sunday so that the procedure could be gone through quietly.

The PM’s motorcade reached the RTO — located on the premises of the Delhi Transport Corporation headquarters— at 11.20 a.m. Over the next 15 minutes,Singh went through the entire procedure,including filling renewal forms and having his photograph taken.

Delhi Transport Commissioner R K Verma briefed the PM on licencing procedures in the Capital. Apparently,the PM observed that Delhi was getting congested by the day,and said he had been advised he would actually not need the licence,as he would never be driving alone.

After getting his licence renewed till 2014,the PM signed the visitors’ book and left for Race Course Road. Drivers above the age of 45 must have their licences renewed every five years. The PM is 76.

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