Mumbai: Transport dept app may sound death knell for RTO touts

Following a crackdown on illegal agents, the department is planning to launch a mobile app to make the application process for licences easier and make touts redundant; the app may be launched as early as next month

With the crackdown on touts at RTOs having the unintended effect of making life harder for applicants, who have to stand in long queues and wait much longer to get things done, the state transport department is planning to launch a mobile app to make things easier.

Regional Transport Offices across the state have been witnessing long queues of applicants ever since the illegal agents were banished from the premises. File pic
Regional Transport Offices across the state have been witnessing long queues of applicants ever since the illegal agents were banished from the premises. File pic

The department hopes that the app will not only enable applicants to fill in and submit forms from the comfort of their homes, it will also prove to be a permanent solution to the tout menace at RTOs across the state by making illegal agents redundant.

Sources said that the app, which is being tested in Pune, will initially have forms for learner’s and permanent driving licences and will allow applicants to fill in their details and submit the forms online, without having to stand in any queues.

Once that is done, the app will help them take an appointment for the driving test, for which they need to be present at the Transport office. When the applicants go for the test, the forms filled by them along with their other documents will be verified and they will be asked questions related to the driving test.

“Illegal agents act as middlemen at the time of applying for driving licences and we can completely eliminate their role through this mobile app. We are working on the app and it could be ready by February,” said an RTO official, adding that the app will be launched for phones running both Android and iOS.

Phased rollout
In the initial phase, the app will cater mainly to people wanting learner’s and permanent driving licences. In Mumbai itself, at least 1,100 people visit the Andheri, Wadala and Tardeo RTOs every day to get their licences made.

On an average, these RTOs hold learner’s licence tests for around 750 people every day, while the rest go in for permanent licences. Once a person gets his learner’s licence, he can apply for a permanent license any time between 1 and 6 months from then.

Transport department officials said that the app is currently being worked on in Pune, with help from the National Institute of Technology. At a later stage, it will also include licence renewals as well as online payments for all RTO fees. “There will be no need for people to come to our offices, except for the tests, once the app really takes off,” said an RTO official.

Rural lift
The department is also working on bringing about reforms in its online application system.

RTO sources admitted that, in the interiors of the state, illegal agents charge applicants heavily for filling their forms online as they do not have access to the internet. To address this, the Transport department will be tying up with government agencies under the e-Panchayat Project called ‘Sangram Kendra’.

Once this is done, people residing in the interiors of Maharashtra can fill online forms on computers at all the 33 Zilla Parishads, 351 Panchayat Samitis and 27,900 Sanganakiya Gramin Maharashtra Grampanchayats, which are equipped with computer, printer-cum-scanner machines and internet connections.

How it works
>> The app will initially have forms for learner’s and permanent driving licences 
>> It will allow applicants to fill in their details and submit the forms online, without having to stand in any queues
>> The app will help them take an appointment for the driving test, for which they need to be present at the RTO
>> When the applicants go for the test, the forms filled by them along with their other documents will be verified and they will be asked questions related to the driving test

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2 Comments

  • steven pereira29-Jan-2015

    Indian Govt is CORRUPT , IF U take a look at Indian Passport offices OVERSEAS example ,Indian Embassies New york , California , Chicago ,they don't renew passports of Indian Citizens easily through proper channels ,they give u hard time ,specially people those who are OUT OF VISA( no way) ,then u have to catch a TOUT TO GET UR PASSPORT RENEWED who charge u 30 times the original FEE to get ur passports renewed ,this is happening from 2012 (ever since modi came in power ).

  • shyonly29-Jan-2015

    I have seen in the passport office that the executives go for a marriage party of their colleague and then the visitor of that time gets piled up until eveing, long queue. dreaded lines.

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