Interview

Going Online For Citizen Centric Services : J Raymond Peter, Commissioner, Transport Department, Andhra Pradesh

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J Raymond Peter Commissioner, Transport Department, Andhra Pradeshwww.aptransport.org

J Raymond Peter
Commissioner,
Transport Department,
Andhra Pradesh


“The online slot booking for license application is an innovative idea.Under this, one has to first book a slot before appearing for a driving license test. Once booking is done, an acknowledgement mail is sent mentioning the appointment date. This system ensures exclusion of middlemen in the whole process”

“Online tax payment system was launched last month and has been made mandatory for the whole state now.”


Please tell us about some ICT initiatives taken by the Transport Department to make its services citizen centric and friendly.

We have been regularly improving our standards over the years. Today we have brought in a paradigm shift in the transport sector with the provision of computerised services to citizens. We are among the very few transport departments in the country which provide online services for driving and learners license, change of address, duplicate license and renewal, dealer registration, payment of taxes, etc. We also have a complete set of MIS reports through which we can easily view how much amount is being collected. ICT-enabled centres have also been set up in each district for simplifying access to such services. In the days to come, I want to make all the 54 services of our department online.

What was the idea behind establishment of the one-stop shop model in RTOs?

Although our department has been providing citizen friendly services, the RTO’s basically had a counter based service mechanism where numerous counters catered to different activities like issue of license, certificates, taxes, etc. We felt we were under-utilising our manpower. So we tried to bring in ‘any service any counter’ model to provide flexibility in service delivery. In this system, one can approach a Help Desk, which gives out forms for stating nature of work and tokens for the queue. And once your turn comes, you can approach any counter for getting your work done. This is a time saving measure as we can avoid the problem of some counters getting crowded while others sit free. It also makes our staff more efficient as they are trained to handle all types of queries unlike the previous system.

This model was introduced some 6-8 months back and now the services are fairly established. We have fixed the minimum number of transactions to 80 per day for each counter and the timings for transactions are between 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.

Can you elaborate on the web-based service delivery being offered by the  Transport Department? How useful has it been for citizens and dealers?

Earlier our systems were run on client server model which lacks uniformity. All our departments had different processes which used to result in lot of delay as work had to be coordinated. To offset this problem we shifted to service oriented architecture where there is a single server for all our offices in the state. The new system ensures uniformity of procedure and administration, data security and integrity as servers are centrally commanded. Our offices in three districts of Ranga Reddy, Vijayawada and Cuddapah have already shifted to this system and the modules are being slowly re-engineered.

Through this service based model, we are able to provide an array of online services to the benefit of both citizens and dealers. For example, a dealer can pay Life Tax for as many as 100 vehicles at a given time with a single bank transaction. He just has to enter the vehicle details, insurance details, hypothecation, etc. Even when a customer buys a car, he can pay the tax and apply for registration and license online.

Can you shed some light on the system of online slot booking for license application?

The online slot booking for license application is an innovative idea. Under this, one has to first book a slot before appearing for a driving license test. Once booking is done, an acknowledgement mail is sent mentioning the appointment date. This system ensures exclusion of middlemen in the whole process. This service has also been integrated with eSeva centers.

In what ways have the online tax payment service benefited the Transport Department?

Online tax payment system was launched last month and has been made mandatory for the whole state now. Currently we have 400 dealers in the state, who have been given a user ID and password. Once they make the payment online, the amount is credited the next day. Earlier there used to be a delay of 15-20days in crediting the payment. With this service, all the activities related to collection of taxes have been centralised. Shortly, the service will be extended to the treasury as well so that the tax money collected is directly deposited there. This project has been very successful in the state.

Is there any kind of partnership with outside agencies for software solutions and IT maintenance?

Unlike states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, we have internalised the computerisation process. Way back in 2000 when we started off with it, we had developed our own software. The new service oriented model that we have introduced now is an advanced version of it. The entire hardware, server and network is owned by the Transport Department. We have hired services of two private companies– Raasi Infotech and CMS – for support and maintenance services.

Apart from licenses, tax payment and dealer registration, are there other unique services available online?

One of the unique services available online is the search option for vehicle registration. In case  you are buying a second hand vehicle, you can fi nd details and past history of the  vehicle by entering its registration number. This is particularly helpful for the Police  Department to get their queries addressed within seconds through an SMS.

Similarly, our website has an interesting service of national permit payments. This service is  available throughout the country. If any AP vehicle goes to any other state, you can do its  registration, and also fi nd out if the registration fee for the vehicle has been paid or not. And if  I want to know how many AP vehicles crossed to other states in a particular month, I just  need to enter sections on my website and the data will appear on screen.

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