A clutch of services related to the transport department, including renewal of learner’s licence, duplicate driving licence and licence renewal, may soon no longer require applicants to go to regional transport offices.
A list of over 40 such public services has been finalised after consulting the concerned heads in the transport department and a proposal has been sent to the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Union ministry of electronics and information technology for approval.
Depending upon the final nod, the state government plans to start the services immediately, senior officials said.
“The proposal with a list of services that the state government wants to make available online has been sent to the NIC for final clearance since it is best equipped to make necessary changes in the software,” a senior transport department official said. “We want to start these online services as soon as the clearance comes.”
Over the past few years, the West Bengal government has been working to make several services available online so users don’t have to physically go to offices. The transport department is among some government wings where hundreds of people go every day to collect certificates, licences and other documents. Some of the services that the government has decided to make available online include applying for renewing the fitness certificate of a commercial vehicle, issuing duplicate learner’s licence, changing address on the driving licence and updating mobile number of users for some documents like permits.
“We want to reduce the delivery time of public services offered by the department,” the official said. “There are several benefits of converting services online in the transport department. Users don’t have to suffer touts and revenue collection sees an upward swing.”
A section of users alleged some of the services, including change of address on driving licence, often takes weeks and rounds of visits to the nearest transport offices.
“In most cases, people opt for touts to get the job quickly without being harassed for extra money. Once some of these services are made online, several thousands would stand to benefit from across the state,” said Sudipta Roy Burman, a Behala resident who said he had to go to a transport office multiple times over aweek for a small change in his address.