Server crashes repeatedly on Saturday; cops called in as tempers rise with applicants complaining of being given the short shrift
D Shah was confident of making it to his 2 pm appointment as he lined up at the Andheri Regional Transport Office (RTO) on Saturday, seeking a learner's licence. But a glitch in the server was all it took to crush his spirit. The RTO left hundreds of applicants in the lurch with the server crashing repeatedly through the day. Officials spent a better part of Saturday trying to rectify the glitches in the system.
A police van waits outside the RTO building in Andheri. Things got out of hand on Saturday when technical glitches delayed appointments
As antsy applicants locked horns with RTO officials, the police had to be called for intervention. The situation improved only by early evening when most of the applicants threw up their hands and decided to call it a day. RTO officials assured them that the server would be up and running smoothly by Monday.
Each day, the Andheri RTO sees 450 people queue up for a learner's licence. Each applicant is given a time slot, but most arrive two to three hours earlier to stave off delay. On Saturday, too, the applicants had lined up early. But, according to Shah, a resident of Borivli, the queue didn't move an inch in hours. As if the delay under the blazing sun wasn't enough, the applicants also found the RTO lacking in basic amenities, like drinking water and refreshments. They were afraid of losing their spot in line if they made a quick run to the cafeteria or small eateries nearby.
"There is no facility for drinking water and the fans, too, were hardly helping," complained Shah. Things came to a head when the server that takes care of the applicants' tests kept crashing. RTO officials were only able to upload details of the applicants on the software and process the enrolment fee payment. "We postponed the tests to Monday. Many people kept asking us to give them their learner's license without taking the test, which we cannot do," said MB Jadhav, regional transport officer.
RTO sources said the server was up in some time, but crashed again later. An applicant voiced the others' fear that the situation would worsen on Monday when applicants slotted for the day would also line up. The RTO officials felt short-changed given the backlog to make up for the back-to-back public holidays over the last two weeks and the staff shortage.