DTO targets Rs 180 Cr in revenues by April 2018
The District Transport Office (DTO) is hopeful of earning at least 90% of the targeted revenue of Rs 200 crores by the end of the current financial year. The DTO is upbeat since it has already earned Rs 113.06 crores till November which amounts to 56% of the target.
“Even if the department earns at an average rate of Rs 14.13 crores per month, by the financial year end, we will earn around Rs 170 crores. We are hoping to boost the numbers by another Rs 10 crores to achieve Rs 180 crores this year,” Prasant Kumar Ghosh, District Transport Officer of Kamrup (Metro) told G Plus.
The revenue comes from motor vehicle tax of both commercial and personal vehicles, arrears on motor vehicle tax, road safety cess, arrear tax, royalty for high security registration plates, fees on driving license and collection from dealer points.
While the department earned the highest revenue through collection from dealers which stood at Rs 65.72 crores, followed by Rs 30.38 crores from motor vehicle tax from commercial vehicles; tax from personal vehicles yielded Rs 8.53 crores. It earned Rs 7.51 crores as driving license fees, Rs 1.97 crores through HSRP royalty, Rs 74.77 lakhs as arrear tax and Rs 13.09 lakhs as road safety cess.
“If the target is met, this would be the highest revenue collection by the department so far. Also, the department will become the third highest revenue earning department following the tax department and excise,” Ghosh said.
Lesser vehicles registered
The surge in the revenue collection however is not at the cost of adding more vehicles on the already congested city roads. In the current financial year, there was a drop of about 6 percent in the purchase of vehicles to 40,054 from the previous year’s 42,665.
In the last financial year, a total of 62,281 vehicles were registered by the DTO of which 8,057 were commercial vehicles. The decrease was attributed to lesser registration of commercial vehicles.
“The department had found out that of the city’s major traffic load, most are commercial vehicles. We wanted to check that and provided the commercial registrations very judiciously,” Ghosh, said.
887 commercial cars that include the app operated vehicles and the share taxis were registered this year.
“Off the registered, most are share taxis that replaced the outdated trekkers in the city. These don’t add much to the traffic as these ply on a definite route. App operated taxis didn’t see much surge as the roads are already overburdened with them,” Ghosh said.
The number of heavy vehicles such as goods carrying trucks and buses, however, has gone up from 1,428 in the last financial year to 1,654 in the first eight months of this year.
Out of the total registered this financial year, the city saw a surge of personal vehicles. 23,542 light motor vehicles (LMV) and 11,427 motorcycles were purchased.
Cracking the whip on brokers
In a bid to thwart the interference of brokers in the registration and licensing process in lieu of commissions, the department has made registration strictly for “applicants only.”
“Now, only the applicant will have to apply for registration. If somehow the applicant cannot come, he can send a representative but that person can only make one application. Earlier, the middlemen used to submit two or three forms and earn commissions. This has gone down to a large extent,” Ghosh said.
Like several other government departments, the DTO used to be a breeding ground of brokers who would claim to have “connections” within the DTO and get the registration done at a lot lesser time.
Biswajit Daimary, a city-based businessman, said that he was once cheated by the brokers off Rs 3000 for registering his vehicle.
“I was told that normal procedure will take more time and I need to grease the officials to get the registration done. I had no other option but to believe and apply. But recently, when I came for a family member’s vehicle registration, it was completed within three days without any pay off. The only hassle was to stand in the queue,” Daimary added.
According to sources in the DTO, the cases of change of registration name of a vehicle on the occasion of second hand car purchase are the most lucrative situations for the brokers.
“They (brokers) put a scare into those who want to change the registration name saying the car is not of good condition to be registered or the prospective owners don’t have the required documents. These activities are still happening in the office,” the source said.
When contacted, the DTO said that he is aware of the phenomenon and will take action very soon.
“The DTO will be a completely broker-free department by 2018. We are planning on taking a number of initiatives to ensure the same this year,” Ghosh said.