In an attempt to keep touts out, the district transport office has shut its main door to public.
By order of the district transport officer (DTO), the gates for access to his office through the ground floor are locked, and public entry into the passage is prohibited.
Citizens have taken it as unwelcome move, as most of them take the main passage because it also leads to the office of the tehsildar, who sit in the adjoining mini secretariat block on the ground floor. "Now, we have to first exit the mini secretariat to enter the tehsildar's office," said Beant Singh, a man who was there for some work.
The DTO, who has been given an office room only, has no right to block the public passage, yet he has not only shut it but also pasted a sign out only the people called to submit fine could get in. "The DTO should know his jurisdiction," said a source in the mini secretariat.
"If all officers who sit in the mini secretariat begin to block public passage near their offices, where will people go?" said Jaswant Singh, a visitor surprised by the move. One of the three gates of the mini secretariat is reserved for officers, even when they are allowed no privilege of this sort, since it's their job to mingle with people and know their problems.
Asked if the passage was blocked under some legal provision or special permission, deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said he would look into the matter.
The DTO argued that he had restricted entry for the sake of public. "My attempt is to minimise the influence of touts and the people who jump queue," said subdivisional magistrate Darshan Singh Grewal, who also holds the charge of the DTO. "I have also shifted photography section to the Suvidha centre. The gates came up even before my taking over the charge," he added.