RTO's 'sluggish' online system annoys licence applicants

Those seeking learner’s licences claim they have to wait for a fortnight to get an appointment despite online registration

Going by the grievances expressed by motorists seeking appointments for the driving test to secure a learner’s licence, it appears that the Pune RTO’s online appointment system has lost its purpose. Applicants are unhappy that they have to wait for a fortnight to get an appointment, despite registering online.

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The RTO had introduced the system with the intention of providing better facility to applicants and helping them save time by taking appointments online. But with the regular delays, applicants want the RTO to rollback the system and restart manual allocation of appointments. Before the online system was introduced, an applicant could walk in and give the driving test that very day.

Raj Ghatole, president of Pune City Motor Driving Schools Association, said, “The online appointment system is fraught with errors. Applicants are unable to get appointments before November 1. Those wanting licences at the earliest are left in the lurch. An RTO officer claimed that the root cause of the gaffe has been diagnosed and will be rectified soon. But nothing seems to be happening.”

Rehan Khan, an applicant, said, “It is a nightmare to secure an appointment online. It took me a month before I was given the November 1 slot. The RTO staff told me that the reason for this delay was due to an error in the system.”

Criticising the RTO for its inefficiency in handling the online system, another applicant Jagdish Singh said, “The Pune RTO and technology doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand. They should revert to the old walk-in system. At least the applicants will be able to give their tests on the same day rather than waiting for weeks.”

The other side
Regional Transport Officer Jitendra Patil said, “It is due to the Diwali holidays that applicants are being issued appointments after a fortnight. But this is uncommon. Applicants must understand that the online system prevents them from wasting time by visiting the RTO and going back without giving the test after waiting for hours.” He added that the current slot for tests — 10 am to 3 pm — was adequate and that the RTO was issuing nearly 300 licences daily.

“The RTO has scrapped online booking for applicants who fail the test in the first attempt. Instead of giving them later dates, these applicants are re-called the next day to reappear for the test.

Also, we have restricted appointments to three per cellphone number, a year after it was discovered that multiple appointments were being booked using a single number. We have identified those who took several appointments using the same number for multiple applicants,” Patil said.

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