The Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) will soon have a separate regional transport authority (RTA) for issuing of route permits, driving licenses, registration numbers and collecting road tax for vehicles in three subdivisions-Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
The state transport department recently issued a notification, directing the Darjeeling district administration to start the process of forming the RTA in the GTA areas.
“As per the notification, the existing RTA for the entire Darjeeling will be divided into two separate areas-GTA and plains (Siliguri). The district magistrate will be chairman of the two separate RTA boards,” PT Bhutia, officer of the Darjeeling RTA, told HT on Sunday.
“GTA will select the members of its RTA board. Owners of vehicles in the three sub-divisions in the hills will have to collect the registration numbers or driving licenses from the RTA office in Darjeeling. But there will be no change in the number plates of vehicles even after the formation of the separate RTA. Bengal will have to be mentioned in the number plates and other documents related to registration certificates, fitness certificates, road tax etc,” Bhutia said.
Apart from setting up separate RTA for GTA areas in the hills and Siliguri, the state transport department has started the process of setting up 86 additional regional transport authority (ARTA) offices in districts in order to speed up the system of issuing registrations, certificates of fitness for vehicles and collection of road and other motor vehicles taxes.
ARTA offices will come up in most of the sub-divisions across the state and all these units will work as subsidiaries to the existing regional transport authority (RTA) offices in each district headquarter. Sources in the state transport department said that the government has already decided to reemploy retired ARTA officers to head the new ARTA offices in the subdivisions. Around nine retired ARTA officers in Hooghly, Howrah, East Midnapore and North 24 Parganas districts have joined their new offices.
“The retired ARTA officers and motor vehicles inspectors (MVI) will be recruited on contract basis. They will be paid half of their last salary drawn during retirement. The prime aim of the move is to speed up the process of issuing registrations and certificates of fitness for vehicles in districts,” a senior official of the transport department at Writers’ Buildings said.
An official requesting anonymity said that the move would solve several problems mainly harassment of people in obtaining registrations or certificates of fitness for their vehicles.