Touts rule the roost in transport office

By Our Reporter


A long queue in the District Transport Office in city. (ST)
A long queue in the District Transport Office in city. (ST)

SHILLONG: The inefficiency of the staff of the East Khasi Hills District Transport Office (DTO) has led to the emergence of many middlemen especially women who are helping people to register their vehicles and other works.

The DTO witnesses a huge rush of applicants who throng the office counters right from morning.

It is found that many people take the help of touts to do their work since they do not have time to stand in a long queue which is a common phenomenon in the DTO. Most people with no time in their hands are ready to pay a small amount to these touts to get their work done.

“We do not have time to stand for hours in the long queue to submit the forms for the vehicle registration. I have had a bitter experience earlier since I had to stand in the queue for over three hours. It was frustrating to see the DTO staff so incompetent in their work since I had to wait nearly an hour only to get the receipts,” a frustrated car owner Badon Blah (name changed) said here on Monday.

Another car owner Wanda Lyngdoh (name changed) said it is difficult to do the paper works of your vehicle on your own due to the unfriendly attitude of the staff working in the DTO.

“You are at a loss since no one directly speaks to you or is ready to help. The best option is to seek the help of touts to avoid the mental harassment,” Lyngdoh said.

What is bugging is to watch the incompetence of the DTO staff which causes undue harassment to the public.

According to sources, the staff attached to the counter are not ready to accept Rs 500 notes on grounds that they cannot provide the necessary change.

“Many people could not complete their work after standing for many hours in the queue only because they do not have change. People were forced to come the next day along with notes of smaller denominations,” sources informed.

But not having change is not the only hindrance. Sources also informed that even if they accept Rs 500 note denominations, they would ask people to collect the receipt the next day since they would first have to verify whether the notes are fake.

“In fact, people were asked to write down the numbers of the notes which they have paid at the counter. On the following day, they would be able to know whether their notes are fake or genuine,” sources said.

Sources said that this clearly shows the incompetency of the staff in the DTO office for not being able to distinguish between a genuine and a fake note and for not procuring machines that can detect fake notes.

“There are many private establishments who do business transactions amounting to several lakhs of rupees daily. But they would never harass the customers even if they pay with notes of higher denominations. By looking at the notes, they are able to detect if it is a fake or genuine notes,” sources said

Sources also pointed out that apart from big business establishments, even small shops do not complain if they are paid in Rs 500 denominations since they have the capacity to differentiate between fake and genuine notes.

Meanwhile, sources informed that with the Government increasing taxes on vehicles, it is extremely difficult for vehicle owners to arrange notes of smaller denominations considering that they have to pay a huge amount of money for the various transactions.

Earlier, the DTO had plans to introduce a new system related to vehicle registration, such as entry of vehicle detail, owner’s detail, online payment of registration fee and road tax to be done by the dealer through the net-banking facility with State Bank of India (SBI).

Timothy Dkhar, a senior technical director at NIC, Meghalaya, had informed that the car dealers would apply for the registration certificate which will help the DTO to process the papers faster.

“It will also reduce the sufferings of people who have to wait for hours at the DTO to process their papers,” he had said.

As per the new system, an e-receipt will be generated by the system along with the Form 20 (for vehicle registration) once a new buyer applies for registration certificate online. The car dealer will then hand over the Form 20, the e-receipt and the sale letter from the company to the owner following which the latter will remit the amount required to apply for the certificate to the concerned dealer.

The owner however, has to present all documents such as vehicle insurance and address proof to the car dealer and on completion of the process, all the relevant documents are to be furnished at the DTO during the time of obtaining the registration certificate.

It is learnt that all the motor dealers in the city have been asked to implement the new system but so far only one has initiated the same.

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