Fire guts learner’s licence section of Tardeo RTO

Burnt to the ground: A fire brigade official walks through the debris at the RTO in Tardeo on Sunday.

Burnt to the ground: A fire brigade official walks through the debris at the RTO in Tardeo on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

No injuries reported; furniture, computers and documents destroyed

A fire at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Tardeo on Sunday morning completely damaged the learner’s licence section, destroying several documents, computer hardware and furniture.

No one was injured in the fire, since there was hardly anyone in the vicinity when it broke out around 6.20 a.m.. officials said. The blaze was extinguished at 8.10 a.m. Fire brigade officials classified it as a Level 3 fire as a precautionary measure.

RTO officials were working through the day to getting the system up and running for Monday.

Wooden structure

The learner’s licence section was housed in an old 200 by 40 feet wooden barrack on the ground floor. The RTO, the first in the city, operates out of several Mangalore-tiled wooden barrack structures, some of which date back to 1921.

“The room had many paper documents, which caused the fire to spread. The situation could have been worse if the fire had spread further, as there is a CNG filling station north of the room,” a senior fire official said. Eight fire engines and eight jumbo tankers were used to extinguish the fire. The cause is yet to be ascertained.

Online back-up

Subash Pedamkar, Regional Transport Officer, Tardeo, said they were assessing the damage. “We will make alternate arrangements to process learners’ licences and conduct tests, which will be in place by Monday. While the fire has damaged files, there is nothing to worry about since we have online back-ups of all documents,” Mr. Pedamkar said.

An average 450 people apply for a learner’s licence every day at the RTO, and applicants have to take a test. RTO officials are making arrangements to conduct the exam in a different block.

In 2015, there was a fire in a godown right next to the barrack that was gutted on Sunday. The structure has been abandoned since then and is yet to be rebuilt.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 2:51:30 PM |

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