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Motor driving schools threaten strike against RTO'™s online slot booking

Driving schools are demanding separate slots for candidates who take the learner’s licence test through them; currently, test slots can be booked online by anyone

As many as 550 motor driving schools across Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area have threatened to go on indefinite strike from next month, against the Regional Transport Office’s (RTO) initiative to let citizens book slots online for the learner’s driving licence test. The schools feel this has made it difficult for them to book slots for their candidates.

Pune RTO
Appointments for the learner’s driving licence tests are available only from 10 am to 12 pm presently. File pic
 
On an average, more than a thousand applicants appear for the learner’s licence test every day at the RTO. After the online facility was launched, appointments had earlier been restricted to 50 to 80 an hour, from 10 am to 3 pm. However, due to technical glitches, the time was further slashed; it is now a mere two hours from 10 am to 12 noon, and people are now getting appointments only a month later.

Raju Ghatole, president of Pune City Motor Driving Schools Association, said, “People are unable to get appointments till October 30, which is creating problems for applicants who want their learner’s licence quickly.”

Driving schools pay Rs 100 to the RTO if their candidate registers for a two-wheeler learner’s licence test, and Rs 200 if the candidate signs up for a two-wheeler and a four-wheeler test. With schools bringing in revenue for the RTO, they feel they should be given special slots – as it used to happen earlier. As of now, anyone can book a slot for the test.

“We want equal distribution, 50 per cent of the slots should be open for citizens and the rest should be set apart for us. We want our slots from 3 pm to 6 pm,” added Ghatole, who met the RTO officer yesterday.

The association submitted a letter of demands on September 23, and not having heard from the RTO a week later, are now planning an agitation. He added, “If they do not make proper changes in the system, we will go on indefinite strike from October 30 and protest outside the RTO.”

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