Anilkumar didn’t sign up for the ordeal he has had to encounter ever since he returned from the Middle East to celebrate Onam with his family.

The missing registration certificate of his car brought him to the Ernakulam Regional Transport Office functioning out of the civil station last month soon after the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) resumed the e-payment facility.

“But the large crowd before the Akshaya counter put me off. So, I returned today only to find that things are no better from my previous visit. If anything, the department has only complicated a rather simple system that was in force earlier in the name of introducing e-payment,” Mr. Anilkumar said standing in a queue in front of the Akshaya centre at the ground floor of the civil station.

Anywhere else, introduction of the online system means simplifying procedures while sparing citizens of repeated visits to offices and saving their precious time. The e-payment introduced by the MVD has turned that concept on its head.

To put it simply, under this system, citizens have to queue up twice instead of once, which was the norm earlier. So, citizens approaching the RTO office for services will have to first stand in a queue in front of the Akshaya counter (they can approach any Akshaya centre or internet café), pay the fees and collect the receipts. Then they will have to climb the flight of stairs to the second floor, as waiting for the lift can be a further drain on the time, where another queue awaits them at the RTO office for submitting the receipts and related documents.

“Fees were accepted at the RTO counters on Monday owing to public protest before it was restored again today,” said U.K. Ashraf, a used automobile dealer who had come to pay the fees for the fitness certificate.

T.E. Roy, the lift operator at the civil station, said that noisy squabbles have become the norm ever since the ‘twin-queue’ system was introduced. The snaking queue in front of the Akshaya counter also hinders the free movement of people leaving him to organise it every now and then.

O.V. Thampy, who had come for a similar purpose on behalf of his employer, had to face multiple problems. “I was waiting from 10 a.m. but the security guard let me in only by 10.15 a.m. Then I stood in the queue at the RTO for sometime only to be told that I have to remit the fees at the Akshaya counter and come back with the receipt. Here I was asked to pay Rs. 225 while the bill was for Rs. 175,” he said complaining that the service charge of Rs. 50 would not be reimbursed as it did not figure in the bill.

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