Registering authority set to crack down on touts

  • Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2014 08:09 IST

Taking note of the recent incident in which the vigilance arrested Rakesh, a class 4 employee of the registering and licensing authority (RLA), and tout Sonu for accepting money to provide a driving licence without the compulsory test, the RLA now plans to step up its vigil.

Soon, it will install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at its Industrial Area and Sector 42 sub-offices, though the head office in Sector 17 is under CCTV surveillance.

Recently, the RLA also instructed all employees not to use their cell phones during working hours — from 9am to 5pm, after it received feedback that touts remained in touch with officials on phone to clear files after accepting bribes.

Deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin said, “The entry of touts is already banned on the RLA premises, but it has been observed that they have changed their modus operandi and now work through third person and use mobile phone to maintain communication.”

“We have already banned the entry of mobile phones of our employees and directed them to strictly adhere it. To keep a vigil on their activities, the RLA sub-offices will soon be under CCTV surveillance so that suspected people can be pinned down,” he said.

An RLA official said the department had also begun the procedure to simplify paper work. Soon, files for registration certificate (RC) and driving licence (DL) would have detailed step-wise instructions, informing people about how to apply for them. Another RLA official said, “Many people have stereotype mindset that making RCs and DLs is a herculean task. We will insert detailed information in every file so that the public can get their work done without anyone’s assistance.”

RLA officials said, “The token system introduced by the department in all its offices reduced the operation of touts at the RLA. We will further improve the system.”

‘RLA should start online system’

City-based advocate Ajay Jagga was of view that RLA should focus on starting an online system for applying for RCs and DLs. “If online system gets started, it will be a big relief to people and also reduce the burden on the department.”

RTI activist RK Garg said the tout culture flourished at the RLA offices due to problems faced by the general public at the hands of the RLA employees. “Like income tax office, if the RLA appoints registered guides, who can help applicants complete their files and guide them properly for certain nominal charges, I am sure the tout culture will become ineffective with time.”

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