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The ordeal of a senior citizen to renew his DL at RTO in Mysuru

The renewal of Driving Licence (DL) at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) office is the worst experience in one’s life to be remembered, particularly for a senior citizen. My DL due date was nearing for renewal and I had no option than to visit the RTO office on JLB Road in Mysuru, a month in advance to get it renewed.

My experience started with obtaining a health certificate from a government doctor at the Government Hospital in Jayanagar, a crowded place of women with delivery cases. I managed to get the through big crowd to reach the doctor inside and to get a health certificate in the prescribed format.

On obtaining the health certificate, I had to go to the internet browsing centre situated behind the office of RTO to get the renewal application filled online along with scanning of health certificate, photo, signature and Aadhaar card and forwarding it to RTO online by generating an ID number.

While applying online, another problem arose with the DL number mentioned on the smart card and the date of birth not tallying (error occurred while uploading the data into computers by RTO clerks). Setting right the DL number after verifying with the computer data from RTO, the online accepted the new data for renewal (mine was the second case of error in data feeding). The online data after filling and scanning completed, a hard copy of printout was taken from the browsing centre on payment of Rs 100 after which the ‘real ordeal’ started.

The fee amount for renewal was to be paid at the single cash counter which had a long queue of more than 100 persons. After standing in the queue for more than one hour, I could remit the fee in cash and obtain a receipt. After coming out along with the application and cash receipt, I had to stand in another queue for photograph which took another half an hour as the server was said to be slow. After the photo queue, I stood in yet another line to submit the application along with a self-addressed stamped envelope at the specified counter which also had a long queue following which I obtained an acknowledgement at yet another counter.

The whole exercise took me more than two hours. Imagine the plight of a senior citizen after standing in so many queues to get the work done. Is this the way the RTO provides customer service, particularly to a senior citizen. That is how they have made the exercise tedious with the result that anyone who comes to  know the ordeals he will have to face to get the DL renewed, would not dare to get the work done personally but would not mind to  naturally approach a ‘middle man’ by paying hefty amounts.

On one side, the RTO boasts that online facilities have been provided to make the work easier, but yet we are made to stand in long queues at different counters to get the work done.

Shortage of staff due to non-recruitment is also said to be one of the reasons for keeping only ‘one’ counter open resulting in long queues.

If the RTO is really interested in easing the situation, they should allow the online applications along with online payment so that the rush at the counters could be reduced and the applications can be processed with the existing staff itself.

I appeal to the RTO to think over the matter and initiate steps to give relief to the ever-growing customers, particularly the senior citizens.

Separate single window counters should be opened exclusively for senior citizens, women and physically challenged persons to make their work easier. -K V Ramanath (The views are of the author who is also a social activist)

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