Long queues, no ventilation at RTO leaves applicants sweating

Applicants say getting a learner’s driving licence involves spending nearly two hours in queues in suffocating rooms; demand more fans, simpler procedure

The RTO’s complex, delaying procedures and the lack of ventilation, coolers and fans at the office have left learner’s licence applicants in the city a disgruntled lot. The aspiring drivers complain that serpentine queues coupled with few windows and barely any seating facilities are compounding their summer woes.


 “I came to the Regional Transport Office in the morning today (Thursday) around 10.30 am and I was waiting for more than two hours for my learner’s licence test to get over. The waiting area, consisting of sheds and rooms, has barely any seating, cooling measures are nearly absent, and there is a big crowd. There should be enough fans and coolers in this hot summer. People, and especially woman coming with their children, are nearly suffocated while waiting in the queue,” said Prashant Shelar, an applicant.

Test of nerves: The aspiring drivers complain that serpentine queues coupled with few windows and barely any seating facilities at the RTO are compounding their summer woes. Pics/Mohan Patil

Another applicant, Rashmi Vaishnav said, “We are sent from one verification counter to another, there is no proper system for getting the work done. The section of the RTO where licences are issued from is dirty and there isn’t enough seating. The RTO needs to simplify the procedure and look into these issues.

Admitting that there are problems, but promising change, deputy regional transport officer Anil Valiv told mid-day, “The number of learner’s licence applicants is high on a daily basis and people have to stand in long queues to go through the process. We have started upgradation work in which fans and coolers will be installed in the waiting lounge and more windows will be there in the rooms. We are planning to expand the waiting area and seating capacity will now be increased to 350 seats. We have got sponsors and work has been started on a war footing. We are hoping that the facelift of this section will be done within a month.”

Valiv said they want to utilise the ‘waiting’ time by exposing people to infotainment. “One LCD screen with speakers and amplifier will be installed in the waiting section, where we will broadcast mini clips and documentaries on road safety issues along with some entertainment features.

There are 13 issues regarding road safety for which we are making mini clips, including lane-cutting, night driving, talking on the mobile phone while driving and rough rash driving. A 15-minute HIV awareness documentary will also be screened,”  Token system Another important thing that the RTO will be introducing for the first time in Pune is a token system for processing applications. Just like banks, applicants will be given a token number and digital screens will be installed at the waiting lounge, displaying the next number.

The Process

Anyone who is aged 16 years or more can apply for a learner’s licence. He has to first go to the police officer at the RTO with the necessary documents for verification and then pay the fees at the cash counter. On getting the receipt, the applicant has to get his details updated on the RTO computer and then finally attempt a test, which consists of 20 questions, displayed via a projector. If the applicant gets at least 12 answers right, the learner’s licence is immediately issued.

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