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Pune RTO yet to adapt complete digitisation as applicants forced to come to office

Though most RTO facilities can be availed online, residents are forced to come to office in most cases.

pune Updated: Oct 26, 2017 17:30 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
With 5,000 people visiting the RTO daily, the parking space at the main office near Sangam Bridge is highly insufficient. To make it even more worse, many vehicles, especially two-wheelers, are seen parked in a haphazard way, adding to the congestion.
With 5,000 people visiting the RTO daily, the parking space at the main office near Sangam Bridge is highly insufficient. To make it even more worse, many vehicles, especially two-wheelers, are seen parked in a haphazard way, adding to the congestion. (HT PHOTO)

The number of vehicles in Pune have been increasing exponentially every year. However, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) near Sangam bridge, which witnesses a footfall of around 5,000 people daily, is yet to modernise itself with a view to make it more consumer-friendly.

Even as most works at the RTO have been made online, many people are still seen struggling to fill forms online  while many others are not yet aware that the system has gone online and continue approaching the RTO. 

On Wednesday, when team Hindustan Times visited the RTO office at Sangam bridge, a lot of licence  applicants complained that the online system was facing some issue. They stated that many-a-times, it was found that the system becomes slow or stops working, which makes it difficult to proceed further and causes inconvenience to applicants. A learner's licence applicant Sheetal Deshpande, who too faced difficulty while getting an online appointment through the Sarathi web system said, "I tried getting an appointment online but the system stopped working in between. This happened many times with me and hence, I decided to come to the RTO today to find out what exactly was going wrong.”  

 She stated that after visiting the RTO, she did not know where to go or whom to consult as the place was heavily crowded and cluttered with no guiding boards to help desks. 

“There is a help desk available from 10am to 2pm but I was not aware of where it was exactly and therefore faced a lot of inconvenience,” she added.

Another licence applicant, Ganesh Brahme, said that submitting the form online for getting an appointment for permanent driving licence test was troublesome. 

 "The system was running very slowly and was not moving ahead. I did not reach the final page of the appointment," he added. 

When contacted, regional transport officer BI Ajari stated that the system does get slow if the internet speed is not adequate.  He stated that applicants must also ascertain that the internet speed at their end is adequate as applicants might face some issues while filling the forms and submitting them otherwise. 

Currently, even as all licence related works have become online, many people were still seen visiting the RTO. When contacted, president of Pune City Motor Driving School Association, Raju Ghatole, claimed that people are still expected to physically go to the RTO and submit the form and documents. "While applying for a duplicate licence or licence renewal, people are expected to also physically visit the RTO which is unnecessary. Earlier, it was promised that the new Sarathi 4.0 system would be completely paperless but that is not actually happening and people still have to visit the RTO," added Ghatole. 

He further stated that the administration must ensure that once the documents and the fees are submitted online, the applicant must not be asked to visit the RTO and instead, must get all the documents at his or her residence via post. 

 

Box: 

 

Daily footfall at RTO Sangam Bridge- 5000 

 

Total Licence related Tests conducted each day 

 

Learner's Licence test- 500 

 

Two wheeler permanent licence test- 100 

 

Four wheeler permanent licence test- 200 

 

Box: 

 

Even as 5000 people are visiting the RTO daily for various transport and non-transport works, the parking space at the RTO main office near Sangam Bridge is highly inadequate. To make it even more worse, many vehicles, especially two wheelers, are seen parked in a haphazard way adding to the congestion. 

 

 

Box: 

 

President of Pune City Motor Driving School Association, Raju Ghatole has claimed that applicants who have once given the test for getting a learner's driving licence and have received the licence, ideally, should not be asked to redo the process if their learner's licence expires and he or she wishes to get a new one. Ghatole stated that he has been raising this issue with the concerned officials but nothing has happened so far.