Chennai

RTOs across city in crying need of more space

Of the 16 RTOs, only seven function from their own buildings, and only one has its own testing track

‘Cramped’ best describes the state of the Mandaveli Regional Transport Office (RTO), which functions from a rented premises on V. C. Garden Second Street.

While the lane gets congested with applicants’ vehicles, the RTO itself suffers from a severe space crunch and does not even have a testing track of its own.

“We conduct the driving tests near Foreshore Estate. Our attempt to get some land near R.A. Puram to set up our office has failed. Till recently we used the space near St. Mary’s Road Cemetery for vehicle inspection. Following complaints from residents, we shifted to Foreshore Estate. We urgently need space of our own,” said an official.

This is not the only RTO suffering from a lack of space and a testing track. Many others in the city too face the same problem and this is a hurdle to their smooth functioning. On an average, close to 100 persons apply for licences every day across RTOs.

Of the 16 RTOs in the city, only those at Thiruvanmiyur, Poonamallee, Red Hills, Anna Nagar, Tondiarpet, K.K. Nagar and Tondiarpet function from their own buildings. The others, including those at Ayanavaram, Ambattur, Perambur, Valasaravakkam, Mandaveli, Meenambakkam, Tambaram and Kundrathur, function from rented premises. Funds have been allocated to construct a building for the Sholinganallur RTO, said an official from the Transport Department.

Parking woes

Officials said that the people who come to RTOs complain that they do not have space to park their vehicles. “The Valasaravakkam RTO is functioning on the narrow Kaliamman Koil Street in Virugambakkam. Due to this, there is frequent congestion. We hope to move to our own premises soon,” said an official.

Even the staff feel stifled working in cramped rooms at most RTOs. “Considering the growth in number of vehicles, the government should provide spacious buildings,” said an official at the Mandaveli RTO. “In the mornings, there is heavy traffic congestion and the applicants feel uncomfortable. We are also looking out for some other space,” said an official at the Tambaram RTO, located on Old State Bank Colony Road.

Only one track

Only one RTO in the city, Anna Nagar, has its own track to conduct tests for licence applicants.

“The remaining conduct the tests in nearby grounds or on the road. This causes inconvenience to the applicants,” said a motor vehicle inspector.

For example, the K.K. Nagar and Virugambakkam RTOs conduct the tests in an open ground in West K.K. Nagar. The Thiruvanmiyur RTO holds tests near the beach. The Tambaram RTO conducts driving tests on the service road next to the Outer Ring Road.

“There were plans to have a sensor-based testing track at Sholinganallur, but it has not taken off till date. The only advanced testing track functioning as on date is in Karur,” said an official.

Scouting for land

State Transport Authority officials said that they are scouting for land for all the RTOs.

“We have got one option for the Valasaravakkam RTO. It is located near Maduravoyal. The testing track will also be near it. We are also hunting for other offices,” an official claimed.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:18:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/rtos-across-city-in-crying-need-of-more-space/article30976410.ece

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