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Delhi: As transport services go faceless, 13 RTOs set to fade into oblivion? | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Delhi’s regional transport offices (RTOs), many of which are landmarks in their own right, might become relics of the past soon with most of the services provided by them going completely online, in what Delhi government’s transport department terms “faceless” transactions.
The car capital of India has 13 very busy RTOs crowded by lakhs of applicants every year, but the new system will entail zero visits to the RTO for most of them.

From the third week of February, the transport department has been providing 12 of its most transaction-heavy driving licences and registration certificate services completely online. By the end of March, nearly 80,000 online applications for these services were received and most cleared.
The faceless service is part of a roadmap the department has prepared for the revamp of its transport-related operations. While a start has been made with 12 most sought after services, the department will gradually add most of its 70 services, excluding driving skill tests, to the system.
According to sources, the department is going to carry out a ‘site and plot survey’ of the 13 RTOs and decide on their future. “Eventually, only the automated driving test tracks will remain operational and there wouldn’t be a need for an RTO building,” confided a transport official. “When all the services are accessible from the comfort of your home, why would anyone need to come to the RTO?” The transport department, however, is tight-lipped about the future use of these offices.
The official added, “Instead of 13 RTOs, we will have smaller zonal offices for south, north, east, west and central zones. These are meant for those applicants who are unable to get their transactions completed online due to problems with their documents or technical glitches.”
Ashish Kundra, principal secretary-cum-commissioner (transport), said that as the department follows the roadmap towards reforms, there might be some changes in the role of the RTO. No concrete plans have, however, been prepared yet. “Right now, we are going through this testing, stabilisation and rollout phase of faceless services, and I don’t think it’s fair to imagine that these offices will vanish. There will be some reorientation of roles as we proceed,” said Kundra.
The idea is to have progressive people-centric reforms and like several other services that have been modernised and become more customer-friendly, the RTO will change in due course, said Kundra. “We have been able to do something disruptive in this area because we are carrying out process re-engineering side by side with technology and people re-engineering,” he said. “The entire team has been very responsive and receptive to change. Barring a few teething troubles, we are on track.”


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