Short-staffed city RTOs can't do a good job | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Short-staffed city RTOs can't do a good job

There are more than 20 lakh vehicles in Mumbai now, but the city's three Regional transport offices (RTO) have just 92 officials to handle all the work.

mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2012 00:35 IST
Kailash Korde

There are more than 20 lakh vehicles in Mumbai now, but the city's three Regional transport offices (RTO) have just 92 officials to handle all the work.

The RTO offices at Tardeo, Andheri and Wadala have 26, 41 and 25 officials respectively, and 25 posts remain vacant.

RTO officials are responsible for the registration of new vehicles, issue fitness certificates to old commercial and public transport vehicles such as autos, taxi and buses, are involved in the enforcement of motor vehicle rules and have to test the driving skills of thousands of people who seek driving licenses every day.

Between them, the 92 officials have issued 7.7 lakh driving licenses and issued fitness certificates to 1.5 lakh vehicles.

With 350 new vehicles getting registered in the city every day, the number of registered vehicles in Mumbai touched 20 lakh on March 31.

It is not surprising then that drivers who get permanent licences may not be really be ready for them.

"The time taken to conduct a proper driving test varies from five minutes to 15 minutes, depending on the type of vehicle," said a former RTO official, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

RTO sources said that the three RTO offices receive an average of 2,700 applications for driving licenses daily, of which around 1,700 for learning licenses and the rest for permanent licenses.

Less than 40 officials handle the licences work.

"Each official issues more than 125 learning and 50 permanent driving licenses, apart from handling other official duties. It's highly impossible to do so much," the official said.

Apart from manpower, there is no proper infrastructure at the RTO offices to conduct optimal tests.

There is a testing track at the Tardeo office, but the Andheri and Wadala RTO offices don't have proper testing facilities; in fact there's not even proper office space, so driving and meter tests are all done regular roads.

Transport commissioner VN More admitted that RTO offices in the city lack space, infrastructure and manpower.

"As per our estimate, to carry out tests for issuing of driving license and fitness certificate in a scientific manner, we will require at least 500 more officials, in addition to our present strength across the state of 417 officials," he said.