Pune: Former Commissioner Criticizes Complexity of RTO’s Online Process

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Pune, 10th June 2024: Applying for a driver’s license requires filling out forms online, a process prone to errors. Former Transport Commissioner of Maharashtra, Mahesh Zagade, has criticized this online system, questioning whether it has been intentionally complicated to push citizens towards using agents.

The Regional Transport Office (RTO) offers many services online, including driver’s license applications. Applicants must fill out a form on the Sarathi portal of the Union Ministry for Road Transport & Highways. This system, created and maintained by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), is often criticized for its complexity. Many citizens prefer using agents over navigating the process themselves, frequently alleging that these agents have financial connections with RTO employees and officers, enabling them to expedite the process for a fee.

Former Transport Commissioner Mahesh Zagade recently experienced these difficulties firsthand while renewing his driver’s license. Zagade commented, “When citizens are provided online services, they should be user-friendly. This process is very complicated. During my tenure as Transport Commissioner, I simplified processes by avoiding unnecessary complications. Such simplicity should be reinstated.”

The points raised by Former Transport Commissioner Zagade include:
1. The online driver’s license process is overly complicated.
2. Whether the process is intentionally complicated to make citizens rely on agents.
3. The need to reinstate the simplified process he implemented during his tenure.
4. Advising citizens to avoid using agents for RTO work.

Responding to these concerns, the current Transport Commissioner of Maharashtra, Vivek Bhimanwar, stated, “The online process of the RTO was created by the NIC for the whole country. We regularly provide them with suggestions for improvements. NIC implements these improvements after discussions with other states. Mahesh Zagade initiated some good practices during his tenure, and we are continuing to implement them.”