Where have all the people gone? To the ‘real’ help desk

The help desk (top) at the public vehicles department (PVD) office in Beltala wore a deserted look at 3.35pm on Wednesday. The reception desk and the counter for the public relations officer were empty. Facing the desk were rows of steel chairs, where some people were seated, waiting for someone to turn up at the desk.

The help desk was set up in June 2015 to guide people to the different counters in the sprawling building. It was set up right at the entrance for the benefit of visitors. Over the years, the help desk has been reduced to a counter from where 
vehicle owners collect smart cards.

“We don’t have enough hands,” a senior PVD official said when asked why the help desk was empty.

Outside the building, around the same time, people flocked to touts for a variety of services such as renewal of fitness certificates and payment of registration fees.

Many touts sauntered around, some eagerly waiting for “customers”, others in small circles negotiating with their “catch”.

Opposite the main entrance, on one side of the road, the big players sat inside their makeshift shops. Those looked like the real help desks. 

Pictures by Kinsuk Basu


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