Bhopal: Single-window system fails to root out touts from RTO | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Bhopal: Single-window system fails to root out touts from RTO

bhopal Updated: May 04, 2016 19:18 IST
Kalyan Das, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Bhopal regional transport office

Single-window system and computerisation have not been able to keep touts away from Bhopal’s Regional Transport Office. (HT file)

The Bhopal regional transport office claims to have gone middle-men free, but the ground reality shows just the opposite—‘there is still no business without touts here’, according to the office visitors.

Regional transport officer Sanjay Tiwari said many steps had been taken in the past to keep touts out of play, like making office fully computerized, introducing a single-window system where people can themselves get everything done without the help of touts. “The steps have made the functioning of the RTO smooth and hassle-free,” said Tiwari.

However, visitors say nothing has changed—one can’t get one’s work done without a tout’s assistance.

A student, Gaurav Sankale, said, “If one goes directly to the RTO officials — without taking help of the agents, then be sure that one will have to pay many visits here. It is impossible to get the work done without the touts.”

Gaurav was at the office to apply for the driving licence. He said even the people trusted the touts more than the officials. Touts are part of the system now.

“They charge extra money to get your work done and they deliver as they say,” he said.

Bhopal has 12.9 lakh vehicles, about 8.3 lakh of them are two-wheelers and 3.1 lakh four-wheelers and 1.4 lakh commercial vehicles.

An elderly man SK Singh, who was at the office to get his licence renewed, said one couldn’t blame the touts alone for corruption. “The system has been made such by the RTO officials since long. And that is why they will never make the office touts –free…” Singh said every official gets his cut. He meant to say the reason is –who will kill a milch cow?

Academician Zameeruddin, however put it differently. He said, “The persons called touts were in fact no touts. They used to be self-employed persons who were making a living through their honest means. But, it’s the transport department authorities who made them touts for obvious reasons.”

Even an agent admitted that touts were still being encouraged by the RTO officials because they get their share from the cut.

“The transport office can never be freed from corruption and touts. There are about 100-150 touts and agents operating in the office. There is no work related to RTO which cannot be done by the touts,” the tout said with a professional confidence.

Meddling middlemen

There are about 100-150 touts and agents operating in the office

To remove the middle men in the system the RTO had taken several steps, like making office fully computerized and introducing a single-window system

But visitors say nothing changed—one could not get one’s work done without a tout’s assistance

According to sources, touts were still being encouraged by the RTO officials because they get their share from the cut

Bhopal has 12.9 lakh vehicles, about 8.3 lakh of them are two-wheelers and 3.1 lakh four-wheelers and 1.4 lakh commercial vehicles.