Transfers of RTO inspectors in Maharashtra to be done with blockchain-based software
CM Shinde who also holds the transport portfolio, has directed that transfers of RTO inspectors be carried out strictly “online” adopting digital methods.
The much-maligned transfers of Regional Transport Office (RTO) inspectors in Maharashtra will be done with the help of a "blockchain-based" computerised system that will leave no scope for corruption, transport department officials have said.
The move will be a first for the department in the state.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who also holds the transport portfolio, has directed that transfers of RTO inspectors be carried out strictly “online” adopting digital methods to curb malpractice.
Every year transfers of RTO inspectors – Motor Vehicle Inspectors (MVI) and Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors (AMVI) – remain in talks over corruption. Citing malpractices at RTOs, Union minister Nitin Gadkari had once quipped about “Laxmi darshan” (bribe in local lingo) there.
In March this year, Maharashtra witnessed a “cash-for-transfers” scam after an audio clip of a conservation between a woman RTO inspector and a person surfaced, prompting the state government to order a probe.
Among RTO officials, offices where a large number of non-transport vehicles are registered, and under which busy border check posts fall are considered as plum postings. Many inspectors try to use influence and money to get transferred to such RTOs, according to department officials.
A transport department official said that a private company has been appointed for the “blockchain-based” software for online transfers and the database of service records of those eligible inspectors is also ready.
The use of blockchain technology will practically leave no room for manipulation, said the official.
“If everything goes smoothly, the online transfers of MVIs will be completed by the end of this month,” said the official, who did not wish to be named.
The transport commissioner’s office has already published a list of MVIs due for transfers.
The official said that the Rural Development and a few other departments in Maharashtra have been using an online transfer system for the past few years and transfers are being affected smoothly.
The official said there will be no scope any malpractices in transfers of RTO inspectors and the software will ensure “percent-wise equal distribution” of manpower across the state.
Presently, only 567 of 867 MVI posts and 1,070 of 1,098 AMVI posts are filled across Maharashtra.
In June, the state government issued a government resolution, or GR, about “online” transfers of MVIs and AMVIs. The next month, Transport Commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar set up a six-member committee headed by Additional Transport Commissioner Jitendra Patil to test the software that will be used to carry out online transfers.
The transport official said eligible MVIs will be trained next week before being asked to mention three preferred locations for transfers, as per the set procedure, through the software.
Every step in the blockchain-based software is transparent and the inspectors will get an OTP on their mobiles and through email while making any changes, the official explained.
According to transport department officials, the online transfers will be done in two phases. In the first phase, transfers of around 166 eligible MVIs will be done and in the next phase more than 300 eligible MVIs will be transferred.
An RTO inspector told PTI that there have been mixed responses to the new tech-based transfer process.
Most inspectors are happy as they won’t have to pay a single penny to anyone for the transfers, said the RTO official. However, they are also concerned about getting postings in far-flung areas, which will be inconvenient to them and their families, he added.