Ever since the Gujarat government announced the implementation of the newly amended Motor Vehicles act in the state, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Ahmedabad has been thronged by city residents waiting to acquire various necessary documents. The department, once infamous for ‘touts’, is now facing a challenge – to refurbish the old system and introduce transparency in the workings with digitalisation. Transport Commissioner Rajesh Manjhu speaks with The Indian Express
How do you see the role of RTO in the wake of implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act in Gujarat and what are the challenges?
Our role is to provide services to people in a transparent and robust manner. There have been certain changes in the MV act due to which we have witnessed a rush in the regional transport offices of late. One such rule is that earlier you could renew your driving licence within five years of its expiry date, now it has been changed to one year. Maximum rush is of people who wish to renew licenses.
What is being done to ensure that people don’t feel harassed at the RTOs due to the rush?
We are trying to cater to all the applicants at the earliest. Recently, we took a decision to provide sheds and chairs to people waiting in the queues. Emulating the system during the voting process, we have ensured that there are separate queues for men and women and we cater to them simultaneously.
What is being done by the RTO to deal with the menace of touts?
Recently, in a joint operation with Ahmedabad police, we cracked down on touts. Over 45 ‘touts and agents’ were arrested outside the Ahmedabad RTO by the police. We will keep taking action against touts to ensure transparent services.
What about the digitalisation in the RTO system?
As of now, all I can say is that we are working on it and the digitalisation of the system is in process. There are a few glitches, which we are trying to fix at the earliest. One model state we are trying to emulate is Tamil Nadu when it comes to online e-challan system. And soon I am hopeful that we will be able to implement it here.