To get a driving licence for heavy vehicles anywhere in Punjab, you will have to get a training certificate from Mahuana village of Muktsar. The certification — technically issued by private centres authorised by the state government — takes a week and is quite the hassle for anyone living far from Muktsar.
But the authorities insist on accepting only the certificate from this particular centre, which happens to be in the home district of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Pukhraj Singh, a resident of Shimlapuri in Ludhina, said he had applied for the licence at Ludhiana but was shocked when the district transport office refused to accept the training certificate issued by a local authorised centre.
“When I asked why the fixation with the Muktsar centre when every district has multiple such centres, the officials simply said they had been asked verbally to accept only the certificate from the training centre of Muktsar.”
“Even this centre, if it works as per procedure, will issue a certificate after at least one week of training. That means I have to live in Muktsar for at least one week,” he added.
Further, a Right to Information (RTI) activist Gursewak Singh, said he had procured a reply from the state transport commissioner that specifically said that “certifi cate can be got from the State Institute of Automotive and Driving Skills, Mahuana of Muktsar, or any other government-authorised centre”.
When Hindustan Times tried to contact the official, the state transport commissioner did not take repeated calls.