Mumbai: More cars on the streets, but licence applications down 20%

Mar 15, 2016, 16:45 IST | Shashank Rao

The number of people receiving a learner’s licence in the city has dipped, with only 2,91,908 people receiving a learner’s licence in 2014-15

While the roads of Mumbai continue to be inundated with over 25 lakh vehicles, the number of people getting learner’s licences has dipped. The latest comparative figures of the last four financial years show a drop in the number of people passing and getting learner’s licences.

While 3,72,197 were given them in 2011-12, only 2,91,908 people received a learner’s licence in 2014-15. File pic
While 3,72,197 were given them in 2011-12, only 2,91,908 people received a learner’s licence in 2014-15. File pic

According to the latest figures collated by the Maharashtra Transport Department, in 2011-12, 3,72,197 learner’s licences were given at the three Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of Tardeo, Andheri and Wadala. This figure dropped to 2,91,908 in the year 2014-15. Learner’s licences are mandatory before getting a driver’s licence.

The latest figures of 2014-15 have seen further deterioration as compared to 2013-14, which according to transport department authorities is unbelievable. The number of applicants receiving learner’s licences at Tardeo RTO stood at 95,956 that is 9.11 per cent less than previous year, at Andheri RTO it was 1,28,226 that is 16.36 per cent lower and finally Wadala RTO saw a drop by 36.98 per cent after getting 67,726 applications for learners’ licences in 2014-15.

In fact the recent previous year’s figures of all three RTOs are lower than what they were in 2011-12. “We are unable to comprehend this trend where people applying for learner’s licences have gone down,” said a transport department official.

This regular rise in the number of people receiving a learner’s licence was seen in 2012-13 with an overall 7.49 per cent increase. A major part of this rise was at Andheri RTO, which saw an increase of 21.91 per cent from the previous year, even as Tardeo and Wadala RTOs numbers dropped by 0.37 per cent and 4.01 per cent respectively.

Online applications
This was around the time when the process for starting online application for learner’s licences was started. “Online applications have become mandatory and there are batches everyday for it,” said an RTO official. For instance, Andheri RTO takes in around 450 applicants, followed by Wadala RTO with 200-250 and then by Tardeo RTO at 150-200 applicants for the same. “This could be one of the major reasons for the drop as people who used to spontaneously come to RTOs for appearing have been eliminated,” said another official. In 2013-14 both Tardeo and Andheri saw a 14 per cent plus drop in the number of people receiving a licence compared to 2012-13 while Wadala RTO saw a 12 per cent growth. The overall drop was 8.44 per cent from the last year that had seen a 7.49 per cent rise. Initially, there was a time when the waiting list for getting an appointment for learner’s licence went up to 3 months, but now that the transport department has increased the quota intake per day by another 100 to 200 applications, officials say it has allowed them to bring the waiting period down, so securing an appointment for a licence can happen anytime from 7 to 15 days.

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