New Delhi: Road Transport Offices (RTOs) throughout the country will be computerized by next March in a Rs190-crore project to be executed by the National Informatics Centre, an official body that provides e-governance support to Centre, states and government bodies.
“We expect all RTOs will be computerized by March 2008. The government has asked National Informatics Centre (NIC) to execute the project at a cost of Rs190 crore,” Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Brahm Dutt said here.
He said Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, which have arranged software for their respective RTOs from private firms, would also switch over to the NIC software to make it usable nationwide.
“A Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Commissioner of Road Transport, Tamil Nadu, to monitor the progress being made by the states in this connection,” Dutt said.
The Secretary, who met the State Transport Commissioners on 8 September, said he would meet the managing directors of transport corporations after two weeks to seek their suggestions in this connection.
Dutt said the states have favoured a uniform taxation system in all regions against the current practice of charging different set of taxes.
“Taxation should be uniform,” the Secretary said.
Indicating that ensuring uniformity in taxation was a difficult task, Dutt said road taxes have been the fourth largest source of revenue for states and the respective governments needed to to be convinced on the matter.
He pointed out there were states who set up multiple check-posts within their boundaries which caused considerable delay in the movement of goods.
“So now we have said that on the National Highways there will be no multiple check-posts. Authorities will have to take permission from Commissioners of Transport or the Chief Engineer of NHAI before setting up a new check-post,” he said.
Dutt also said the states have agreed to examine this possibility and were open to the idea of setting up joint inter-state border check-posts.
Refusing to subscribe to the popular belief that public transport system in India has failed, the Secretary said the western models suggested by various quarters were being scrutinised to examine their compatibility in India.
“We have found that public transport in Bangalore was very profitable and the network is well-laid out there. In Uttar Pradesh, transport is cheaper but profitability is missing. We would examine various models and ascertain how to improve our public transport system,” Dutt said.
To control the menace of overloading, the Secretary said his ministry is finalising a mechanism to install weight-bridges at toll-plazas to ascertain whether the trucks or other goods carriers were overloaded or not.