Karnataka: Officials inactive, 1.7 lakh applications pending on Vahan portal.

Applications include paying motor vehicle tax, returning or suspending a Registration Certificate (RC), health check or certificate, issue of RC copy, change of address at RC, transfer of rights ownership, mortgage addition, mortgage termination, Air conditioner (AC) issue, addition or modification of nominees, RC mentions, Fitness Certificate (FC) duplication, subscription renewal, motor vehicle modification and allocation gray card again.

The data shows that Bengaluru East RTO at Kasturinagar (Old Indiranagar) topped the list with 7,323 requests, followed by Electronics City RTO (7,212), Kalaburagi (6,780), Raichur (6.262), Mangaluru (6,062), Central Bengaluru to Koramangala (5,683), Davanagere (5,650 ) and Koppal (5,416).

In Bengaluru, the pending status of requests in other major RTOs are: Bengaluru West to Rajajinagar(4,544), Bengaluru South to Jayanagar(4,772) and Bengaluru North to Yeshwantpur (4,809). Overall, there are 71 Regional Transportation Offices (RTOs) and Deputy Regional Transportation Offices (ARTO) statewide. Transport Minister B Sriramulu recently issued a memorandum to suspend the initiative for the First In First Out (FIFO) citing the huge wait of applications on Vahan.

Sources indicate that there has been an outcry by a section of Transportation Department officials against contactless services and FIFOs. Senior Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Rajender Kumar Kataria, who led the rollout of these initiatives, was removed from the ministry on April 18, 2022, which sources said hindered implementation. There were also some complaints that claimants were unable to make payments online, forcing them to access the RTO. There are several complaints about corruption, reductionism, the presence of solicitations, and overcrowding at RTOs across the state.

“Under FIFO, officials must approve the first applicant's application and then process the subsequent application according to the filing date. In the past, some officials used to keep some applications pending and give priority to others for reasons they knew best. there are several application spending for more than 10 years. We were recently asked to process 1k applications in a month. But that's not very likely," a department source said.

Officials said they could not process new applications until those pending applications were resolved, resulting in a statewide new-vehicle registration backlog. FIFO will also be rolled out to Sarathi (Driving License- DL related services) once the Vahan process is complete. S Manjunath, a resident of Hebbal, said, The idea of ​​contactless services is to avoid RTO and FIFO visits which would help reduce delays, but there have been attempts to derail it. This is the work of a part of officials, Additional Transport Commissioner (Admin) J Purushotham was not available for comment.

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