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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar:  With day in and day out the challans being made over traffic norm violations count to a staggering amount, the resentment among the public in the State over the big pinch seems bordering on rebellion. And it seems many anti-social elements and vested interest groups are working overnight to sabotage the drive.

At this crucial juncture, for the State Transport Department, this seems to be the right moment to implement the State's much-touted Single Window System (SWS) for the common man on streets. Currently, the State has SWS for industrial and municipal services (only in few select towns).

Why the SWS is imperative for Transport Department? Significantly, at present, the State Transport department is offering a bouquet of online services like transfer of ownership, transfer of ownership in case of death, sale of vehicle in case of auction, change in address, addition of hypothecation, hypothecation termination, tax payment, duplicate registration certificate (RC), issue of no objection certificate (NOC), alteration of vehicle, renewal of registration, conversion of vehicle, RC cancellation and application for trade certificate etc.

But the big home-truth for the State is internet penetration in rural areas is only around 10 per 100, though the internet penetration in urban Odisha stood at around 54 connections per 100 persons, which  is far below the national average of around 80. Even, urban internet penetration in Bihar is around 79 per cent.

Notably, with such a low penetration of internet, the online services caters to only a limited populace in the State. But the crack-down over traffic norms violations now affect all and sundry, touching all sections of the society.

Therefore, an offline SWS for the immediate redressal of common man's traffic-related needs is the need of the hour.

The SWS in the realm of Road Transport Offices (RTOs) is not a utopian concept. The states like Maharashtra and Gujarat have such SWS in many big districts having high vehicular density.

How the State's online services fulfills only half the needs of public? It was observed that many online applicants in Odisha have complained of delay in acquiring the necessary clearances from the RTOs, even after availing the online services.

The fact needs worth mentioning here is RTOs in Maharashtra and Gujarat have made the SWS operational so that the documents related to the online services of the transport offices can be submitted for further disposal.

Apart from dealing with DLs and other sundry services, the SWS there were also equipped to dispose a fixed daily quota of vehicles that can be called for fitness testing.

Besides, the SWS there has also proved a boon for the applicants who have no access to internet services. Instead of moving to different counters, an applicant can submit all relevant documents at a single counter and within a specified time frame can also collect the necessary permits or clearances from the same counter.

In case of Odisha, without such infra in place, the sudden crackdown seems to be proving counterproductive for the State and police administration here.

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