The Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Andheri has been forced to discontinue its computerised learner’s licence test facility owing to the rising menace of agents and touts. However, this step has only led to applicants being fleeced even further.
The Andheri RTO, which receives more than 600 applications for learner’s licences every day, now has to conduct the time-consuming manual tests. This means that applicants have to stand in long queues for hours before they take the test, giving agents and touts an opportunity to fleece applicants.
“The RTO officials are hand-in-glove with touts and together they take advantage of our helplessness,” said an applicant, requesting anonymity.
“A number of applicants go through the test without being asked a single question. The charge for this smooth passage is Rs250. However, the official charge for a learner’s licence is only Rs35,” added another applicant.
A Bhalchandra, of the Andheri RTO said that the computerised learner’s licence test facility had to be discontinued as rodents had cut the wires about five- six months ago. “We did not repair it since we will be shifting to a new office within 10 days,” said Bhalchandra.
He further added, “We have five inspectors who conduct the manual tests and ensure that maximum tests are conducted daily.”
Local Congress legislator Baldev Khosa, who had bought the computers using his constituency development fund, said that that he would question RTO officials. “I will ensure that the facility starts again.”
The Andheri RTO, which was the first to start the computerised test facility in 2008, registers the highest number of vehicles in the city. Till last year, the computerised test facility helped save man hours.