JAMMU: Regional Transport Office (RTO) appears to be the ultimate and dream destination of officers and officials working in various departments of Jammu and Kashmir Government. Such is the love lost for the organisation that nobody wants to get out of it till reaching superannuation. This has been proved beyond doubt by revelations made in Right to Information application, which gives startling details of officials staying put between 13 years and 33 years, with break of just one or two years in isolated cases.
When brought to the notice of Regional Transport Officer, Jammu Arvind Kotwal, he expressed his ignorance and even surprise that some officials were there for decades. Such is the ‘work-load’ of the office that superintending officers do not even know the service details of officials working under them.
The glamour and attraction of the office brings transferred officials back on their desks just within a year or two. They seem to be made for each other, remarked an agent outside the office who has been facilitating people in getting their jobs done on immediate basis.According to the RTI revelation filed by Balwinder Singh, Head Assistants, Senior Assistants and Junior Assistants working in the office of RTO Jammu have spent a nominal period anywhere else, as if they are made for this office only. Out of total 33 years of service, Incharge Head Assistant Krishan Lal has dedicated precious 31 years of his life and service in RTO office Jammu. Similarly, Sr Assistant Dimple Choudhary has put in 14 out of 16 years of her service in the office and she is continuing there. The case of Senior Assistant Hamid Manhas is no different. He has put in 13 years of his 17 years service here. These are the isolated instances while the truth about the organisation remains shrouded in mystery.
The norms about tenure and transfer seem to have been bade adieu in the organisation headed by Transport Commissioner, generally a senior officer. Several IAS officers have also manned the posts but they too have found little time to weed out the rot and give some semblance of government office to the organisation that faces reputation deficit.
“There is an organised network which runs RTO organisations across the State”, said a visitor to the office, a retired officer, on the condition of anonymity, adding that the organisation has assumed the nickname of ‘money minting machine’. The network includes agents, touts and middlemen who rule the roost in an organisation named as RTO.