Ludhiana became the first district in the state and region to start home delivery of driving licences, with DC Rajat Agarwal inaugurating the facility at Suvidha Centre on Monday.
An initiative of the state government, the facility will put an end to fleecing of the common man at the hands of commission agents who mint money in the name of providing services.
This will also reduce the footfall of the public at the district transport office, thereby saving time and efforts of the staff dealing with the applicants.
As many as 18,000 licences, including learners’ licence, permanent licence, renewed and duplicate licence, issued every month will be dispatched via post from the office of the district transport office, Ludhiana.
The DC referred to the facility as a New Year gift of the state government for the people, adding that this facility would take care of multiple issues like verification of the address of the applicant and authenticity of the driving licence.
“Moreover, SMS from the DTO about the processing of the licence at various stages will keep the applicant informed and there will be hardly any scope for the commission agents to give false assurances in lieu of money,” said Agarwal.
Ashwani Kumar, who had applied for renewal of his driving licence, said, “Indeed it is a step towards better services for the public as it will save them from harassment at the hands of corrupt employees and commission agents who cheat innocent people in the name of facilitating/expediting the licence delivery.”
Moreover, a help desk, comprising five individuals, has been set up on trail basis to facilitate visitors coming to the district transport office for payment of taxes, registration of vehicles, fee payments, filing of applications.
“These employees have been sent by the Punjab transport society which is helping people in all the above tasks,” said DTO Anil Kumar Garg. He also said that the helpdesk would become completely functional in the coming three-four days.
However, a retired clerk from the district transport office said, “This is just a small step towards reforms in public dealing offices like the DTO. There has been no new recruitment in the DTO office since the last 10 years.”
“As a result there is a scanty staff that includes a DTO, an ADTO (additional district transport officer), one part-time motor vehicle inspector and seven clerks. Despite their best efforts, the given staff is unable to cater to an average of 2,000 people visiting the DTO office. The sanctioned posts include one DTO, two ADTOs, 15 clerks, one steno and one full-time motor vehicle inspector,” he added.