The Ministry of Road Transport is set to start the Beta testing of a software in Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in Maharasthra which, among other things, will enable e-payment of fees for licences and other RTO-related work.
The upgraded software, which has been launched in Delhi RTO, will see its soft launch in Maharashtra beginning with RTOs at Baramati and Kolhapur in the next few weeks. Once perfected, the software will be launched across India, starting from Maharashtra.
Senior transport ministry officials said the above facilities would be part of the new softwares to be implemented in the RTOs viz Sarathi 4.03 and Vahaan 4.03. The earlier version of the software are in use with the RTO offices across the country.
The upgraded software will also allow people to fill up forms online from their homes or offices and fix appointments as well. While the forms are currently available online, filling and submission has to be done physically at the RTO office, leading to a huge rush. Pune RTO sees 4,000-5,000 visitors a daily on an average.
“Electronic submission of forms at this moment is available with the passport office. We want to bring the same system in the RTOs,” officials said.
Apart from easing the rush at RTOs, online submission of forms is also intended to reduce the influence of touts. It may be recalled that the former transport commissioner Mahesh Zhagade had banned agents from RTO premises, but the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court overruled the decision. “If all the facilities are made online, people would not need to go to an agent. Since the passport office has implemented the online submission system, agents and touts have vanished from the office,” said a senior official from Pune RTO.
The RTO also plans to introduce online payment system for various fees. Talks are under way with the State Bank of India for such payment gateways to be incorporated with the new software.
At present, only cash transactions are allowed across the RTOs. Pune RTO alone collects an average of Rs 50 crore in a month, which is handled by just one cashier.