Fear fac­tor sparks rush: 20-day wait for driv­ing li­cence

SARAI KALE KHAN

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Sid­hartha.Roy @times­group.com

New Delhi: Plan­ning to ap­ply for a new driv­ing li­cence or to get your ex­ist­ing li­cence re­newed? Be ready to wait for more than a fort­night. Ever since the amended Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act has been im­ple­mented, the re­gional trans­port offices (RTOs) in Delhi are flooded with ap­pli­ca­tions for learn­ers’ li­cences, per­ma­nent driv­ing li­cences and re­newal of driv­ing li­cences. This has re­sulted in the long wait­ing pe­riod of at least 20 days to process the ap­pli­ca­tions at the busy RTOs.

“Most ap­pli­cants are vis­it­ing the RTO to get their driv­ing li­cences re­newed, fol

While driv­ing without a li­cence ear­lier in­vited a chal­lan of 500, the fine amount has been in­creased to 5,000 af­ter the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act was amended

lowed by those ap­ply­ing for learn­ers’ li­cences and per­ma­nent driv­ing li­cences. While driv­ing without li­cence ear­lier in­vited a fine of Rs 500, the amount has now in­creased to Rs 5,000. Hence, no one wants to be caught without a driv­ing li­cence,” said a trans­port de­part­ment of­fi­cial at the Janakpuri RTO.

“We have in­creased the slots, but are still un­able to cater to the rush. As a re­sult, the wait­ing pe­riod for driv­ing li­cence re­newal and fresh per­ma­nent driv­ing li­cence has gone up to 20 days,” said an­other of­fi­cial at the Sarai Kale Khan RTO, which caters to large parts of south Delhi.

The of­fi­cial said that the num­ber of slots for re­newal cases had been in­creased from 250 per day to 325; for learn­ers’ li­cence, it had been in­creased from 200 to 275; and the num­ber of slots for per­ma­nent driv­ing li­cence had gone up from 125 to 150 per day. “Over­all, we are giv­ing 200 ex­tra ap­point­ments every day, but there has not been a dip in the rush. Of­fi­cials are feel­ing too much pres­sure,” he added.

“Also, many peo­ple visit with their fam­ily mem­bers and friends, lead­ing to over­crowd­ing at the RTO. Helpdesks, where most peo­ple queue up to get help with on­line ap­pli­ca­tions, see a big crowd. We have in­creased the num­ber of helpdesks to meet the rush,” he said. The de­mand for du­pli­cate reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cates, he added, had also seen a rise over the past few days.

An of­fi­cial at the Mall Road RTO said: “Most of the rush is for re­newal of driv­ing li­cences, and the wait­ing pe­riod is up to 20 days.”

“The rush is huge, but com­pared to the first week of Septem­ber, it has sta­bilised now. How­ever, the wait­ing pe­riod is still up to 10 days for re­newal of driv­ing li­cences,” said an of­fi­cial of the Su­ra­j­mal Vi­har RTO.

“While about 400 ap­pli­cants ear­lier vis­ited the RTO every day, the num­ber has gone up to 700 now. From morn­ing till up to 3 pm, we are deal­ing with huge rush con­tin­u­ously with no time even for lunch,” said an of­fi­cial at the Mayur Vi­har RTO. “We have in­creased 50 slots each for li­cence re­newal and learn­ers’ li­cence,” he added. “We ex­pect the rush to sta­bilise in about a month,” said the Janakpuri RTO of­fi­cial.

Sanjeev Ras­togi

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