If driving on the city’s streets is an ordeal, getting your licence at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) is no different. But the times they are a-changin’, or so it would seem. The transport commissioner’s office is planning to set up a training institute — the first of its kind in the country — to impart schooling to new recruits in communication skills, physical fitness and legal procedures.
The department has preferred Pune for establishing the institute, as the city, besides having pleasing weather, can contribute the best faculty from Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), and several other educational institutes.
Speaking to MiD DAY, state in-charge of training and deputy RTO (Mumbai) Prakash Jadhav said, “RTO department does not have its own training academy. It has to provide training to young officers and new recruits at other institutes like YASHADA and Maharashtra Intelligence Academy.”
“We have doubled our budget for training purposes, from Rs 1.5 crore this year to Rs 3.08 crore next year. However, this entire amount will be spent at other institutes, without creating our own infrastructure. If we set up our own training academy, crores of rupees can be saved and utilised for round-the-year training of future batches,” Jadhav added.
Deputy RTO (Pune) Ajit Shinde said, “Every day, hundreds of citizens, including women, approach RTO representatives for their work, and in such a situation the kind of treatment they get is of utmost importance. So far, we haven’t had any incidents of officers misbehaving with women, and we want to keep things that way. For this, it is necessary that officers hone their communication skills when they are drafted into service.”
“We will see the results of training sessions conducted by MIA and YASHADA in the coming years. We also need to scale up this preparation programme,” Shinde said. Engineering student Aishwarya Mhaiskar (22) from Mira Society said “Most of the work at RTO is confusing, and one does not know where and how to proceed.
Many of us have to take the help of agents and shell huge amounts to procure licences. If the officers and employees of RTO show willingness to help us, we won’t have to rely on agents. Training officers and employees will prove beneficial to all.”
Annual budget allocated by RTO for training of recruits
> The state has 15 Regional Transport Offices and 35 Deputy Regional Transport Offices
> Total strength of officers and employees is 3,500
> Rs 3.08 crore is next year’s budget for training
> This year, 91 officers have been recruited
> Batch of 215 officers to pass out next year