Traffic challans in Moga held up with no clarity on dealing officer
Since the DTO post was abolished on August 17, there is no clarity on who can clear challans; state-level meeting to decide on the issue.punjab Updated: Sep 07, 2017 13:10 IST
The state government’s August 17 decision to abolish the post of the district transport officer (DTO), meant to curb corruption in the vital department, has become a source of confusion and harassment for citizens. Even though, now the work of a DTO is divided between sub-divisional officers and Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs), there in no clarity on who can clear traffic challans.
This is causing considerable difficulty to people visiting SDM offices to pay fine and get their documents cleared.
“On Wednesday, over 250 people visited the DTO office to clear their challans. With the DTO office locked, and no clarity on whether the local SDM has the power to clear these, people returned disappointed and angry,” said an employee at the DTO office. Over the past 20 days, since the post was abolished, thousands of challans have piled up across the state.
Mandeep Singh, who came from Panjgarayi village, 25 km away, said, he was visiting the office the second time to clear his challan for not wearing a helmet.
“The authorities’ negligence has meant that I have wasted a lot of time. I have spent more on my travel than the challan amount,” he claimed.
In Kapurthala, officials are sending people, came to file their traffic challans to the RTA office Jalandhar, about 20 kilometers from the district as SDM doesn’t have the power to deal with traffic challans.
Why the confusion
After the decision to do away with DTOs, the work was divided between SDMs and RTAs. SDMs were deputed to do transport office work in their jurisdictions that includes registration and licencing of non-commercial vehicles only. Application of commercial vehicles were to approach the RTA office (there is now one RTA for two or three districts).
Faridkot RTA secretary Hardeep Singh said there was no clarity on who was the designated authority to deal with traffic challans yet.
“There is no clarity on the issue. A state-level meeting has been called on Thursday to sort out the issue. The decision taken at the meeting will be implemented from Monday,” he said. State transport commissioner Tanu Kashyap was not available for comments.
Meanwhile, in a silver lining, districts where offices of RTA secretary exist, the work of registering and licencing of non-commercial and commercial vehicles is being done at the RTA office.
Quotes (if needed)
A state-level meeting has been called on Thursday to sort out the issue. The decision taken at the meeting will be implemented from Monday.
Hardeep Singh, RTA