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Old 21st January 2015, 14:48   #1
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Default Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

As per news in times of india (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/45934402.cms), the state transport commissioner Mahesh Zagde has ordered RTOs to work without agents and warned them that if any agent is found on premises then strict action will be taken.

I have searched if anyone has started this thread but didn't find any so starting a new one. Moderators, if any thread exists then please merge this or delete my post.

I feel that this action by state commissioner is taken without thinking of the consequences and without improving the RTO infrastructure.Because of the ultra poor infrastructure of the RTO, common man prefers an agent. If you can get your work done in single day that's a miracle. If they are not allowing agents then they must keep the RTOs open on Sundays also.

Salaried individuals will now have to waste a full day just to stand in long lines, being tense that if they miss out on any paper then another day is wasted . I just can't understand why the commissioner was allowed to take this decision without any backup plans. Long queues of citizens were seen in every RTO where this decision has been implemented so far.

Earlier passport office and its infrastructure was a nightmare. Now it has been improved a lot. Without an agent the work gets easily done. This was expected for RTO too. Its surprising that political parties too not opposing this hasty decision.

I agree that no one wants to pay bribe but if there is good infrastructure then no one will go to agents. A good web portal, complete list of required documents, online chat support, online appointment booking and more such features we expect from the RTO.
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Old 21st January 2015, 15:12   #2
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

One of the measures taken to support this decision.

From January next, apply online for driving licence

Hope this is handled well.
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Old 21st January 2015, 15:58   #3
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

I for one have hope that the RTO will show at least some of the streamlining of the application process, that the Passport office has shown.

This had to happen some day. The penetration of the internet is near universal in an urban area like Pune. At the same time, I am sure there are going to be off-site agents who will help in filling of the forms online for the electronically or educationally challenged.

However, transport permits and vehicle fitness certificates still seem to be a mostly manual affair. I am pretty sure that is where most of the 'corruption' takes place. I am hoping this is just a pilot program and things like vehicle ownership transfer will get easier as well.
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Old 21st January 2015, 16:35   #4
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

Not sure whether this is routine instruction issued for public consumption. In Tamilnadu also such intentions are declared from time to time. But reality is different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead View Post
I for one have hope that the RTO will show at least some of the streamlining of the application process, that the Passport office has shown.

This had to happen some day. The penetration of the internet is near universal in an urban area like Pune. At the same time, I am sure there are going to be off-site agents who will help in filling of the forms online for the electronically or educationally challenged.
Agreed. The process changes in the Passport offices prove that improvement can be made if processes are streamlined and competent software systems are used. I went for my passport renewal by applying online. It took just 3-4 hours to complete the renewal process at the office. The new passport was received within 10 days.

This is possible in RTO office. Though manual intervention is required for certain tasks, many other tasks like change of address, ownership change application, etc. can be done online.
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Old 21st January 2015, 16:37   #5
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

Just last month I tried to use an agent free route to register 3 of our cars at the Pune RTO but it was impossible. One cannot even book a VIP number without involving an agent. I sent our driver with all documents and payment in place but time and again he was turned down by the person at the counter. Once an agent is involved things go smooth as they offer bribes to the RTO people. The reason RTO officers insist on agents currently is because they do not want to ask bribes directly from customers, getting the cash via any agent safeguards them to some extent.
Almost 50% of the receipt fees of a VIP number goes as agent fee+bribe. Even the agents have an understanding amongst each other that once a certain price is quoted by an agent the rest will stick to the same. Another illogical money making racket there is that agents charge double for registering luxury cars claiming that the officer asked for double the bribe.
I hope this changes soon and we are able to register the cars directly without any hassles of agents.
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Old 21st January 2015, 16:47   #6
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

So this reminded me today to get my old styled "Paper book" licence issued by MP Transport Department to the new "Smart Card" one. Being in Mumbai, I was very worked up thinking how to go about it. Dad, back home, suggested to call up an RTO agent and minimize "jhanjhats". But I somehow thought of giving it a try online. And yay, MP transport department has a neat website!
Pleasantly surprised and delighted, a few probing clicks here and there took me to the right page and within just 5 minutes I was able to take an appointment for the day when I will be back in my hometown for a visit. Super experience. Just that I hope everything else (including appointment, issuance and delivery process) goes smooth in the same way. Fingers crossed.

If Maharashtra RTO plans/aspires to be efficient in similar way, Why not? Let there be no agents, which means lesser touts and lesser cheats
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Old 21st January 2015, 19:28   #7
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This is a step in the right direction. There is a new Right to service act that can be more powerful than the RTI act if used widely by citizens. This is like putting KRA deadlines on the department concerned. Most government offices are supposed to display TAT in their offices and the name of the official responsible.


The strike reminds me of the strike in district courts in my city by lawyers. Protesting against shifting some land related cases to revenue department for faster resolution /settlement /reduce case load.

Everyone who gets paid due to inefficiencies in the system will protest to maintain the status quo.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 02:11   #8
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbodude View Post



Salaried individuals will now have to waste a full day just to stand in long lines, being tense that if they miss out on any paper then another day is wasted
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
I sent our driver with all documents and payment in place but time and again he was turned down by the person at the counter .
See, if either of you were in the US or similar developed countries, you WOULD go to the DMV yourselves and get the work done YOURSELF. What choice do you have? The richest guy in the area as well as the poorest can be seen in the DMVs there.

In India, it is our choice to not go in person and instead hire some 'pony' to do our work.

I am not saying it is easy, but I have done registration, transfer and duplicate license myself without any tout in Pune, and I assure you, the time taken was no different from any DMV in the US.

Last edited by john doe : 22nd January 2015 at 02:14.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 03:14   #9
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

I think the issue with government departments in India is really the lack of information on processes, documents and SLAs to get a particular job done. If this is put up clearly outside the office and also on the web, the need for a tout reduces considerably. Of course, automating and exposing processes on the web will be an added advantage.

In Bangalore, I remember processes and documents were published in all RTOs after the Lokayuta raided a couple of RTOs and exposed the nexus between dealers, touts and RTO officials. This made it a lot easier to know what steps are involved in getting a particular job done.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 13:57   #10
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Default re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

My experience with Pune RTO has been good (though it has been more than two years now).
In the Sangamwadi RTO, there is an enquiry counter right in the middle.
The guy there will give you all detailed instructions. Only problem is - he is too fast.
So, when requested, he would repeat everything again - still fast.

So, if you don't know something, just ask this man (hope he is still around).
You may carry a recorder and record what he says. Listen over the instructions few times and you know what to do.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 19:19   #11
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Default Re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

Hopefully the above experiences set the way for the future.

I had a really bad experience with Indira nagar RTO. I was trying to get a NOC to transfer to electronic City RTO and wasn't being allowed to do it as the old owner has changed his residence.

Rs 3K for an agent and everything was done double quick including re-registration.

I saw agents transferring files from one officer to another and getting signatures etc. and operating from behind the counters where only employees are allowed

Hope the situation gets better.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 22:13   #12
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Default Re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

The Central Govt is planning to bring in the Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014 .One draft of the bill is already out .Two of the proposals in the bill are a Unified Licensing System & a Unified Vehicle Registration System.

The former will include biometric licenses & automated driving tests at the RTO. The main aim is to eliminate the agent menace across the country.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 00:46   #13
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Default Re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

Around 20 years back My first DL was made through a tout in Delhi, that too even without going to RTO.

To my disappointment that DL had my photo and my dad's name because of that touts illiteracy/ignorance.

Two years later when I lost that DL, I decided to get a new one in my name instead of getting a duplicate of the previous one.
I approached the same guy for my new license, he told me that things have changed since then and I won't be able to get a DL without visiting RTO.
He told me to get it done on my own, because touts have no role in the process and I'll have to stand in queues even after paying the tout fees.
I remember I had to stand in very long queues and had to skip lunch to get my DL made.
Now after 18 years of my last visit I had to go to Janak Puri, New Delhi authority for my wife's DL. As I expected no change, I was mentally prepared for the same chaos.
But one good thing I did was to make online payment and fixing appointment prior to the visit.
To my surprise, there were separate queues for those who had an online appointment. Those queues were quite smaller than the manual ones.
It took us around two odd hours including the computerised test etc. for the whole process and we collected the learning Licence the very next day.

Similarly for the permanent DL, it took around half an hour and permanent DL was delivered in a weeks time.

My tout free experience was quiet positive.

I feel it's a good move by Maharashtra govt. We should always welcome such initiatives.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 09:56   #14
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Default Re: Maharashtra RTO to go agent free - good or bad?

I got my license in 1993 (learner's and permanent) and I didn't take any agent route. It was a straight forward thing that time as well. If one makes up his mind not to go for agents then the process automatically becomes easier and simple. It is more of psychological effect. I got passport as well without agent and renewal. Things are simple. If we carry all the documents (since now the instructions are online) there is no need to go for agent. When I got my license / passport, the information was very much limited and still I got it without any hassles. Same applies for a duplicate license, that I got. One needs to spare sometime for such activities. I will never spend money on these "middlemen"

People scare you more unnecessarily, similar to "Yeh saal to tera 10th hai" and the poor chap will unnecessarily get tensed for no reason or to a chap going in say 5th standard "Yeh saal to maths hai padahi main".

Similar for house search. And in Mumbai the agent will again demand his "cut" if there is renewal you do directly with owner. They are a "gang" and trying to make a pension under the pretext of renewal.

Agents should definitely be shunned. When we are so much enthusiastic about DIY, why not apply here in dealing with various Govt. departments
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Old 23rd January 2015, 09:57   #15
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Add to making the RTO's free from touts and agents, RTO's will also start licence renewal online. So no more standing in the long queues to get the DL renewed. The proposal also make ways for outsourcing the Learner licence issuing due to the short staffing at the RTO's. Presently customers have to register online for Learner licence on the RTO/Transport website. Going forward the learner licence test may be matter of few hours. There is even a proposal for getting the registration nos for new cars & 2 wheelers online.

More details in the link.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/45984966.cms

I guess "acche din" are truly going to be a reality in the coming months for customers.
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