Keen on improving the image of the motor vehicle department, known for corruption, newly appointed transport commissioner Pravin Gedam plans to address the core issues -- shortage of manpower, lack of offices, infrastructure and digitisation.
Gedam, who heads the motor vehicle department, has invited ideas, suggestions from all regional transport officers on the problems that have been neglected for the past few decades.
In an informal letter (HT has a copy) through a popular messaging app, Gedam has asked officers to study the current state of the manpower, vehicles, offices, test tracks and computers vis-a-vis the number of vehicles. “For this, we all have to come at scientific and rational conclusion as to how much manpower is required for our department,” it reads, “If we put the whole thing properly on paper, no one can object to it. It may not get approved in near future due to financial constraints but at least it will remain pending with the government. God knows, it may also get cleared.”
Gedam, a 2002 batch IAS officer, took over the post this month.
Currently, all RTOs in the state are facing shortage of manpower. Referring to an HC directive, Gedam pointed out how posts are created in the police and other departments. “Start thinking in this fashion for the department, so society gets best out of the MV department and the ultimate aim of the department is achieved. There is no point in cribbing that we can’t deliver on field due to shortage of this and shortage of that. Let us calculate our needs without considering any financial constraints,” he wrote.
Most RTO officials see this as positive change. “After former transport commissioner VP Raja, who was in charge in the early 1990s, not many transport commissioners have paid attention to issues such as RTO offices, infrastructure and manpower. The new transport chief is trying to address these issues, which is a welcome move,” said a senior RTO official.
Gedam confirmed the development. “It is aimed at starting brainstorming and coming up with ideas to improve the system,” he said.
RTO offices have been in the news over corruption for the past couple of years. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had compared RTOs to dacoits in Chambal last year. One of Gedam’s predecessor, Mahesh Zagade, had written a letter in red ink to all RTOs, directing them to ban entry of agents on the RTO premises.