October 17, 2020 7:57:20 pm
Automated weighing scales to check overloaded vehicles, body cameras for inspecting officers, naming-and-shaming of the conduits, and dedicated district transport officers (DTOs) were among various reform measures announced Saturday by Chief Minister Manohal La Khattar to curb corruption in the transport department.
Announcing appointment of DTOs in all the 22 districts, he said his government will soon get rid of the middlemen at the RTA offices, be it for getting driving licences or getting vehicles passed.
“We have got a list made with names of 250 ‘undesirable contact men’. In two days, this list will be handed over to DTOs so that such persons’ entry is banned,” Khattar said.
He said after Rohtak, six inspection and certification centres to inspect and check the fitness of vehicles electronically will be opened in six more districts — Ambala, Karnal, Hisar, Gurugram, Faridabad and Rewari at a cost of Rs 150 crore.
He further said that automated driving test tracks will be set up in 11 districts — Kaithal, Bahadurgarh, Rewari, Yamunanagar, Rohtak, Karnal, Palwal, Faridabad, Nuh, Sonipat and Bhiwani — where driving skills will be tested and the entire test process will be computerised. As a result, people will not have to approach the middlemen for getting their driving licences, the chief minister said.
He said a provision of Rs 30 crore has been made for this and these centres will be opened within a year.
“Similarly, to keep a vigil on overloading of commercial vehicles, which Khattar said is a major reason behind corrupt practices, the state government has decided that portable scales will be installed on the roads and even the drivers will not get to know when the weight of their vehicles has been measured,” he said.
Khattar said 45 portable scales have been bought by the state government and after the success of the experiment, more such portable scales will be installed in the state.
“Body cameras will be worn by the vehicle inspectors going for checking and passing of commercial vehicles, so as to ensure that the recording of the entire checking process is done and its monitoring will be carried out at the transport department’s headquarters,” he added.
The chief minister said the problem of overloading is usually found in mining vehicles, therefore the “e-Ravana” software has been prepared by the mining department, which will now be integrated with the “Vahan” software of the transport department. At present, the number of registered commercial vehicles at the RTA offices is around 1.25 lakh and the number of employees is only 627. More recruitment will be done within a period of one year for a smooth functioning of these offices, he said.
The CM said in the coming months such corrective measures will be introduced in two-three other departments.
“Radical changes have been made in the system by using information technology. In the last six years, we have taken several initiatives to bring transparency in the system and rein-in corruption. These initiatives to bring about reforms have been appreciated at the national level,” Khattar said.
He said in the last six years, recruitment on about 85,000 government posts has been done on the basis of merit, adding that in the next five years too, merit-based recruitment will be done on more than one lakh posts.
The chief minister expressed confidence that the employees, who are recruited on the basis of merit, will meet the expectations of the public and stay away from corrupt practices.
Replying to a question, he said in 2014-15, the excise revenue of the state was Rs 3,200 crore, which increased to Rs 6,400 in 2020-21 and is estimated to be Rs 7,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal.
To another question, Khattar said arrangements have been made by the state government to ensure that the ongoing procurement process of Kharif crops is done in a smooth and systematic manner. “The interests of the farmers of Haryana are paramount for the state government and for this, the procurement of the crops brought by the farmers of the state is being done at the state mandis on a priority,” he said.
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