THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Manikandan has been trying unsuccessfully for the past one week to remit quarterly road tax of his mini-lorry through the Parivahan portal as directed by the Thiruvananthapuram RTO where his vehicle is registered. A couple of days ago, his lorry was flagged down by the police during a routine checking. Though Manikandan tried to explain that he was unable to remit the road tax online due to a technical glitch, the police played by the rule book and demanded a hefty fine.
With the lorry driver-cum-owner expressing his inability to pay the fine, the police let him off but only after subjecting him to nearly half an hour of mental harassment. The distraught driver rues being harassed for no fault of his. “I had paid the contribution to the Motor Transport Welfare Fund Board online, which is mandatory before payment of road tax. Everything goes well with the Parivahan portal till it directs the payment to the Kerala treasury gateway. Then, it develops a snag,” said Manikandan, who was assisted by his nephew to pay the tax online. Repeated attempts to remit the tax through Akshaya centres were also unsuccessful.
“Complaints like these have been brought to our notice. When we inquired with the (Motor Vehicles) Department, we were told that people with complaints can approach the RTOs concerned,” said T K Rajan of Kerala State Goods Transport Workers’ Federation (CITU). Rajeev Puthalath, Joint Transport Commissioner and Secretary, Kerala Road Safety Authority, told TNSE that the payment of road tax through online mode has been implemented with the objective of doing away with touts at the RTOs.
“We are discouraging payment of cash at the RTOs. In case anomalies like these are detected, the RTOs concerned will help the person to pay the tax online if he or she approaches them with a screenshot of the failed transaction,” he said. Meanwhile, an MVD official said touts and a section of staff in RTOs and SRTOs were not happy with the way the present system was working in a transparent manner. “There may be attempts to exaggerate the complaints to prove that the system is not effective,” the official added.
The payment of road tax through online mode has been implemented with the objective of doing away with touts at the RTOs.
In case anomalies are detected, the RTOs concerned will help the person to pay the tax online if he or she approaches them