The much-hyped computerised tests mandatory for issuing learner’s licences by the district transport office (DTO) to bring transparency has proved to be a mere announcement as no such tests have been conducted at the DTO ever since the new criteria was announced in April.
Earlier, a written or oral test was conducted by the motor vehicle inspector (MVI) for issuing a learner’s licence.
But the process was found to be flawed as a number of middlemen would hijack application forms and lure applicants towards acquiring licences without any such test.
The Punjab government then made it mandatory for the DTO to conduct computerised tests of applicants towards the end of April.
According to new guidelines, the state transport had installed 10 computers at the DTO, Jalandhar, in April to conduct the online test in which ten applicants could take the traffic knowledge test at once.
An HT team found the new set-up installed for conducting the test was not being utilised and the door to this special room was shut.
When contacted, the district transport officer RP Singh feigned his ignorance about the new service.
However, he later told HT that the “new service of computerised tests will start from Wednesday.”
Even after the Punjab government mandated computerised tests for issuing licences, applicants are still made to go through the old process to acquire them.
An average of 3,000 people apply for learner’s licence every month in the district.
The applicants are charged Rs 60 for application forms, Rs 30 for scanning and Rs 50 as test fees.