Transport commissioner holds licence camps, violates rules
TRANSPORT COMMISSIONER RP Shukla may be drawing accolades for holding special driving licence camps in the State Capital and other cities. But, the fact is that the authorities are violating rules by holding such camps.
Contrary to the legal requirement, the authorities are issuing hundreds of learner’s driving licences every month by organising special camps without asking the applicants to undergo the mandatory test. Section 11 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 clearly says, “Every applicant for a learner’s licence shall present himself before the licencing authority on such date, place and time, as the licencing authority may appoint, for a test and satisfy such authority that the applicant possesses adequate knowledge and understanding of the traffic signs, signals, rules of road regulations etc.”
It further says that in determining as to whether an applicant possesses adequate knowledge and understanding of rules as prescribed, the licence authority shall put to the applicant questions of objective type and the applicant shall have to answer correctly at least 60 per cent of the questions.
However, no such rules are being observed at the driving licence camps being organised by the transport department, even in the State Capital where test was made mandatory around 10 years ago. Any one can walk to a camp, submit an application and get a learner’s licence on the spot without bothering to face a written, or oral test.
The department, as a senior transport officer said, could ignore holding a test for the applicants in individual cases in its offices, but to throw rules to the winds on a mass scale by holding camps at different places after giving public notices was something that could not be condoned under the law. He said that long queues of the people at the driving licence camps were indicative of the fact that there was a lot of harassment in the RTO where touts thrived.
“If things are improved in RTO offices, there will no need for holding camps,” he added.
Regional transport officer Gangaphal admitted that as per the MV rules holding a written test for the applicants was mandatory, but he defended holding the camps in the public interest. “At times we have to ignore rules in the public interest due to practical problems,” he said.