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Unpleasant experience at RTO Koramangla

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Private transport

I sent out the following email to Ashwin Mahesh narrating my experience at the RTO recently. I am pissed about the whole experience. At moments like these it feels awesome to realise that I am a member of Praja:)

 

Hi Ashwin

I want to narrate to you a poor experience that I had at RTO Koramangla and to discuss possible ways in which something can be done about it. I am moving back to Delhi and had gone to get a No objection certificate for my bike. The first counter I interacted with was very good and the lady there helped me put my documents in order. I was asked to submit my documents at another counter after which I was given a very flimsy receipt. This is when all the trouble started.

I was asked to show this receipt to a person who was sitting at the back side of the office. This person asked me to wait till he gets a form for me. Even after my multiple  attempts in reaching out to him he kept telling me that he was busy. While waiting, I saw a person (possibly someone like me) giving 200 rupees to this officer's sidekick and saying aloud in very clear words that he will pay him a 100 more after the work gets done ( All this was said in kannada and I know this because I had taken along a friend who is from Bangalore). After making me wait for more than an hour the officer called me, asked me to fill a form and signed it. Then he told me that I need to take the form to the commissioners office and get a clearance certificate from them. This entire task took him less than a minute.

The next day I went to the Commissioners office and got the clearance certificated made in an hour and a half. Interestingly, I also ran into the RTO officer's sidekick in the same office. Sensing some time in my hands I decided to submit the certificate in the RTO that day itself.  As luck would have it, the RTO officer was on leave that day. In the absence of the original officer, the officer who was supposed to accept my certificate in all his sincerity told me that he can take the certificate but he would advise me that I come the next day and submit it myself. He said that he may hand over this certificate to the officer on leave the next day but there is no guarantee that the other officer will keep it properly.

Finally, I had to come the next day to submit this clearance certificate to the officer directly.

So it took me 3 days to get the entire work done. There is still no guarantee that I will get my NOC. During this entire period I felt stupid and to a certain extent I felt impotent. There were touts all around who were offering me to get the entire thing done in 1000 bucks. The process is deliberately designed in such a way that a person is completely lost about what he is supposed to do and compelled to offer bribes. I am a part of Praja and there were folks who were guiding me all this while. Otherwise I would not have had the patience and possibly would have hired a tout and got done with it.

Some Questions/Suggestions:

  1. Why is it that people who are supposed to interact with the public are sitting at the back of the office? Wont it be more efficient and transparent if all such counters are in the front?
  2. NOC process does not look complicated for it to make a citizen deal with multiple counters. Why is it that all the formalities cant be completed at a single counter?
  3. Is it that a citizen supposed to go get a clearance certificate from the police himself or is it that RTO is supposed to take care of that part of the paper-work?
  4. Instead of giving me a flimsy receipt, why am I not given a clean and clear acknowledgment which says they have received everything needed so that if needed I can hold them to account?
  5. Why is it that the entire process is not put on the website in clear terms? If we are supposed to get the clearance certificate ourselves, may be making that form available online for download will save one trip to the RTO for us. 

Waiting for your thoughts. I am in Bangalore till 2nd July and will be more than happy to help in any way you suggest.

Regards
Shekhar Mittal

Comments

Rithesh's picture

Why Ashwin Mahesh?

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113 users have liked.

I have nothing against Prof Ashwin Mahesh, but why rant about the RTO problem to him? Shouldnt you write it to you local MLA/Transport Minister/RTO commissioner?

My problem is not with Prof Mahesh, but the system which grants powers to people who do not have a mandate and are not answerable/accountable to the people (not elected). It is so easy to misuse their position. Like in the case of the grand war memorial being promoted by Mr Rajeev Chandrashekar (god knows which other concerned citizen could have come up with such a plan). Again let me make it clear - i have great respect for Prof Mahesh and his work, but that doesnt justify why they should be given such positions of authority in a democratic setup. 

Naveen's picture

Elected need help too

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103 users have liked.

Whilst I agree this is simple enough & Shekhar could have sought other available means such as filing a complaint, meeting higher ups like RTO officer or even higher (who, by the way, are not elected), the MLA /MP /ward officer or other elected individuals have far too many other grass routes problems & for a huge variety of people, particularly the poorer sections since they are the ones that vote, mostly. This problem will thus seem quite insignificant to them since their voters do not have free piped water, no drainage, expensive power, no proper roads to settlements, etc & these become much more important priorities.

Someone as accomplished as Shekhar, with his vehicle problem, pales in comparison on this priority list for those elected, though they still are accountable /answerable to all classes of people, including Shekhar.

Elected people are not necessarily experts for solving all problems that people face - they need help & advise from experts. The best experts work in private sectors because govt service might not appeal to them. Dr Ashwin Mahesh  works for IIM, & is within part of the central govt, though not elected.

idontspam's picture

. The process is deliberately

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. The process is deliberately designed in such a way that a person is completely lost about what he is supposed to do 

This I agree with. Its the people in the RTO who make or break the experience. They usually pass thru the easy requests. If it makes them think or work hard they will throw process at you so you go away and get help from a tout who will do their work. RTO Yeshwantpur made me run around with an undocumented process completely different from the one pasted on the wall that he showed me on demand. And in the bargain nit picked on the file and plastic bag and other paraphernalia that he instructed in pieces so I run to the ground floor store as many times as there was paraphernalia in the application. The highlight was the run around they gave me between 3 guys, sitting within shouting distance of each other, each one refusing to get up from his seat and verify my disfigured DL, but each one bitched about the others uselessness to the organization in front of me. Spent 3 hours for a 5 minute job.

idontspam's picture

Having said that I dont

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Having said that I dont consider using a tout an essentially a bad thing. In the travel industry they are called agents who can be a single window and get a visa done while you get your ticketing done as well. The problem is in recognizing when the tout is paying a bribe in the backend to get the work done. If the tout gave me a bill with his service charges clearly marked out and the fee is the actual+service charge+tax then I wouldnt worry. Maybe an accredited tout associated with driving schools will work so there is responsibility to good practices for fear of derecognition of the driving school itself.

murali772's picture

outsourcing - the answer

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114 users have liked.

The simple answer is outsourcing to competent professional agencies (touts - if IDS wants to refer to them that way), like here (I am sure these are intials hitches and onces the process are streamlined, it will be best e-governance system to be proud of. The best part is, it is free of corruption)

Incidentally, my wife's license ( check this) came by post quite within the stipulated time.

Muralidhar Rao

@Rithesh/Sathya

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109 users have liked.

I have nothing against Prof Ashwin Mahesh, but why rant about the RTO problem to him? Shouldnt you write it to you local MLA/Transport Minister/RTO commissioner?

One should do a lot of things. In the end it all boils down to what fight to pick. The fact that in the end I did it without paying anyone is a big enough deal for me. Reaching out to Ashwin was something that was easy for me and did not take up much time.

Having said that I dont consider using a tout an essentially a bad thing. In the travel industry they are called agents who can be a single window and get a visa done while you get your ticketing done as well. The problem is in recognizing when the tout is paying a bribe in the backend to get the work done. If the tout gave me a bill with his service charges clearly marked out and the fee is the actual+service charge+tax then I wouldnt worry. Maybe an accredited tout associated with driving schools will work so there is responsibility to good practices for fear of derecognition of the driving school itself.

Completely agree with you on this. Do you sense a possible Praja Business idea here? ;)


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