Mangaluru: Getting a driving license at the RTO office!

Mangaluru: Since I am now 65 years of age with my birthday fast approaching, I had to renew my driving license and as per my usual practice I do it personally.

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The forms were duly filled in and a E token was handed over and I was asked to wait for my photograph to be taken. But, before that when I handed over the application for verification I was told that I had to give a stamped self addressed envelop with Rs 17 worth of stamps. When I asked why that was needed, the reply was that the license would be sent by registered post. That set my consumer activist antenna tingling.

Because, I was aware that most of the applicants prefer to collect the valuable document themselves being afraid that it would be delayed or lost in the post. But, every one had to hand over this envelop when submitting the application. I refused point blank and told them that I would not submit such a thing because, I would collect the document in person. At this the woman at the desk wrote on my application in red ink- stamped envelop not submitted.

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So, after all it was not compulsory to do so, though the same had been specified on a board just behind the receptionist desk! Coming to receptionist at the desk, he was missing at around 11 am itself. After waiting for a good 15 minutes he turned up. It appeared that he had gone to do some favor for a friend/customer! When I handed over my documents he condescended to sign on the counterfoil of the receipt for the payment of the fees. When I queried him as to when the license would be ready, he refused to commit when I pointed out the board at his back which said that all who submitted documents were supposed to take an acknowledgement indicating the date when it would be ready, he asked me to go to his supervisor Hemavathi.

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When I asked her she said it was the case workers duty to do that. At this point I lost my patience, raised my voice and asked what they meant by shunting me from one to the other for which she replied that the document will be ready after 30 days at least but not specifying how long it would take at the most. She also wrote the same on the acknowledgement. But, what interested me was the number of people who submit their applications with a stamped envelop and collect the license in person. If on an average two hundred were to submit applications each day and say only 10% of them are sent the document by registered post I was just wondering what happens to the stamped envelops submitted by the other 180? The amount would come to several thousands per day and I am sure that there are no accounts for the unused envelops and stamps on them! So, an RTI query has been submitted asking for the details of the same for a week in November last year.

As it is appointments in the RTOs office are the first choices for government servants as these postings are supposed to be very ‘remunerative’. It looks like this stamped envelop submission racket seems to one such though the amounts involved to be peanuts for such lucrative postings.

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Looking one benignly is the photo of Ganesha which seems to be safeguarding the poor citizens who have to go to this office. Looks like one has to recourse to the supernatural to get proper services here!

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  1. Mr Hegde,please note that before Lokayukta gets involved suspend few to teach a lesson. Also we public should ask DC Mr Ibrahim to install CC-TV Cameras behind the RTO Building to keep Eagle Eye watch on Vehicle Inspectors and People involved in it. It is a Black Money Mint without a building. I have seen a City Bus came in for inspection without any break lights,and torn bumper. Parked and left the premises still without break lights. Passed with Rs. in hand test.
    Mr Narendra Nayak, these envelops are passed on to brokers for money. Most Govt. Offices are curse to Public.

  2. Kudos to for the report. The difference in the reporting, as compared to other net-based news agencies, is the publishing of the RTI application. This helps the reader to ascertain facts for himself rather than of having to depend on an interpretation.

    Would be nice if Mangalorean. com also publishes the reply, in time to come, and also the outcome.

    Prof. Nayak’ step-wise report and discreet photography is a helpful teaching tool for all citizens about: how to empower oneself while dealing with citizen unfriendly govt. offices.

    Going by our current strategy of using Right to information and Right to Services(SAKALA in Karnataka) as tools to achieve better governance, attached is a screen shot of Sakala page which is self explanatory.

  3. Prof Nayak, you are right but you are up against the corrupt government officials. They are all hand in glove and cover each other. The most important criteria as far as I am concerned is the ability to see and hear well apart from driving skill and knowledge. I guess the lokayukta has not visited these offices. RTO office is decidedly the most corrupt government office as every one knows. Please discuss this matter with our MLA Mr Lobo and get his help to resolve the issue. He is a decent guy.

    • I know Mr. Lobo personally since his days as a Tahasildar. He should keep a watch on what is happening in his constituency.

      • Prof Nayak, perhaps you should consider contesting elections in future. Even a corporation election is OK and you may try Gandhi Nagar ward. I am sure the residents will definitely elect you. That way you will have a better say in some of these offices where you can help the disadvantaged to get their things done rightfully. I trust you will take this suggestion seriously.

  4. I had applied for the new license on 27/11/2015. It was a simple conversion from old booklet license to card. I paid for the envelope. Wait for 6 weeks and colleted it personally as it never arrived by post. I enquired and was told that bloke whose responsibility is to send these out is also saddled with to other tasks and so he is doing 3 men’s job so he posts them out as and when he can. There were close to 500 undelivered licenses in the bundle.

    That is not citizen’s concern as they can employ people. However that RTo office setup is like a dog’s breakfast. Needs to be streamlined.

  5. I think it is a two pronged strategy- one is to force you to go to ‘brokers’ to get your work done. The second is that if the licenses are not posted you will go to collect them and then the stamped envelop remains with them. The former is much more profitable, but the latter teaches you a lesson not to go there to do things directly! Either way it is a loss for us citizens. If there is a shortage of personnel how come that those who approach through brokers can get their work done quickly? The same must be applicable to them too. When I was standing in the line to make my payment I could see people with bundles of applications in their hands. Again, now they dare not jump the queue. When I was there once about twenty years back waiting in line one man with a bundle of documents in hand and a bunch of currency coolly went to the head of the line when about twenty of us were standing there. I called out to him and asked me whether he was blind. There was a big altercation and the people in the line told me that he was a broker entitled to special rights. I had a fight with him too. Then I told the cashier that if he touches the papers which he has submitted before he does mine I am going to complain about him. So, he did not until I had finished my payment. I do not what happened to those behind me but only hope they too did the same.
    That time itself I remember raising my voice at a case worker for not giving my papers in time on the promised date. When he said that he had no time, I picker up some which had been completed on the previous day and asked him if he had time for those, why not for mine? I said I am not going to move from there until he does my work which had been submitted more than a week back. He got nervous and the people who were watching applauded. I told them that they should fight for their rights than clapping for me. Then there was a driver of a govt. ambulance who told me that he was coming there for the eighth time to get the registration of his ambulance transferred from Chikmaglur to to Dakshina kannada and asked me to help him. I told him to get lost and that he was getting the same treatment from the RTO office which he was giving to the patients of his department. I have many such experiences at the govt. offices.

  6. “He should keep a watch on what is happening in his constituency” – Porf.Nayak on an elected representative.

    Well, it pretty much sums up what we need to know about some of these elected ‘decent’ guys. We had a ‘decent’ guy in New Delhi (mana mohana) and we all know what he did when he was in power. The problem with ‘decent’ guys is that they can easily be bullied into silence by other aggressive, corrupt elements within the party.

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