Delhi RTO logs on to usher speedy licensing

In what could be a first in India, the Road Transport Office (RTO) in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, is working at being a fully computerised and tout-free licensing office. The project was successfully implemented on a trial basis during the one-week national road safety week observed by all RTOs throughout the country. Delhi alone has 13 RTOs.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 29 Jan 2009 Views icon3892 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Delhi RTO logs on to usher speedy licensing
In what could be a first in India, the Road Transport Office (RTO) in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, is working at being a fully computerised and tout-free licensing office. The project was successfully implemented on a trial basis during the one-week national road safety week observed by all RTOs throughout the country. Delhi alone has 13 RTOs.

While officials in different RTOs observed the safety week by adopting various themes based on safety, the Vasant Vihar RTO set up an infrastructure involving advanced computers and manpower to ensure smooth issuing of learner’s driving licenses.

“Among the initiatives we took was seeking the assistance of an NGO (Driving Skill Institute and Research) to simplify the procedure of issuing driving licenses to the public. DSIR has been pushing for an automated learner driving license system,” said Anil Kumar Chhikara, the motor licensing officer who heads the pathbreaking RTO.

Chhikara is hopeful that this system would be introduced in his RTO as a pilot project and will be implemented by other RTOs in a formal way later. “This system is in total sync with the rules. It only simplifies procedures, improves our efficiency and output. There is a lack of manpower in the various RTOs and this infrastructure can complement our working. We are very confident that the government will take a decision to implement this project in public interest."

Fast work

As a result of the new system, the RTO was able to issue around 200 licenses a day with the majority being learner’s driving licenses.

Chhikara told Autocar Professional that DSIR has adopted a system that was in line with international procedures. “Although we have powers in Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) that the testing portion can be outsourced, we wanted to check this system. So we got an approval from the management to use the services of DSIR so that their services can be tested in a real time situation. We called them specifically during the road safety week,” he said.

Author of a number of books on road transport and engineering, Chhikara, a mechanical engineer, has served RTOs in Delhi and other places in India. He has since long being at the forefront of a drive to upgrade and modernise the Transport Department's functioning and help bring about transparency in the field of driving license, registration of vehicles, vehicle fitness and enforcement. Among his successful contributions is the implementation of an automated vehicle inspection lane for the first time in India at the RTO in Burari on the outskirts of Delhi. “What we have undertaken during the national road safety week, we shall try to continue implementing at a later stage. However, before that, we need to find out whether it would really benefit the public. In short, we shall have to study the pros and cons of the scheme and understand its technicalities. We shall then evaluate the impact it would have on the existing motor vehicle rules and regulations. Thus we need to verify the new system keeping in mind the prevailing rules of the land," he said.

Encouraging feedback

Chhikara noted that the public feedback to the computerisation scheme has been very encouraging. “The feedback we have received from people is very good because this was the first time they have experienced such a smooth system for procuring a learner’s license. The entire procedure is an interaction between the applicant and the computer and no traffic inspector is involved. Even the role of a tout has been totally eliminated. This particular RTO can be called a tout-free zone,” he said. All in all, a welcome move which will also result in safer drivers.
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