Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to Apply for Smart Card

I obtained my license for geared 2 wheel and car (LMV) way back in 1999. But during a pickpocket incident in the busy majestic area i lost my plastic card after that i went to the Rajaji nagar RTO to which i was told i have to get the plastic card from tumkur only. However when i went to tumkur RTO again i was told since they don't have machine right now i would have to go back after 6 months :-) believe me i was told to come back after 6 months. Then i went to Rajaji nagar RTO again for change of address and applying of plastic card again i was told to apply after 3 months because after 3 months they would be issuing the new smart cards. Again when i went after 3 months i was told they are very busy since the system of issuing smart cards is very new and they asked me to wait for a month or so, so that it can ease down a bit. Here i am again after a month to listen to the same music since my license is valid till 2019 its better for me to wait for a month or so, so that it can ease the rush a bit more but this time i was a bit reluctant. Now let me tell you the process of applying for the smart card along with the change of address :-) and also how it works in the RTO :-)
One person sits outside to assist you for your help :-) . I went to him and asked for the process to apply for smart card and he told me to go to counter 21. I went to counter 21 here i was asked to go to cash counter and pay the fee for the same. I went to the cash counter and after standing in the Que for 15min when it was my turn i asked her how much do i need to pay for change of address and smart card. She told me to go to counter 21 and ask them how much i need to pay. I was surprised that a person sitting in cash counter doesn't know how much to accept and she just accepts what people ask her to take :-). I saw that people don't pay for a certain job rather they ask her to take 200rs, 300rs and give a receipt for the same so strange right :-)
Now i went back to counter 21 and asked how much should i pay for change of address and smart card. He told me i had to pay 300rs (200 for smart card and 100 for change of address). Again i went back to the cash counter to stand in the Que, a middle man was standing in front of me with a list of 30 people, i had to wait until the receipt for all the 30 people is finished :-) . At the end of which the cashier told to the person 750Rs. Probably this should be the commission for the cashier for doing his job, because it was not paid at that moment :-). Its my turn now, i told her to give a receipt for 300rs to which she asked my name. I told "Poorna Prajna", she could not hear or probably she didn't know the spelling she asked me to write an application and come back :-). I came out again but i remembered suddenly and went back to the counter and gave my license and asked her to see my name from the license. At last she gave me a receipt for 300rs. With this i went back to counter 21. He told me to write an application and attach an address proof . I wrote an application and attached a xerox copy of my voting id card for address proof and went back to counter 21. He asked me to go to photo counter and get my photo clicked :-). When i went there, i was told that i should get a signature from the person in counter 21, so i went back again. This time he told me that i have to attach a printed application available outside for smart card. I had to go out to get the form only to know that there are no forms available with the RTO and i have to go to the xerox shop near by and pay Re1 for the application. After filling the application again i went back to counter 21 and got the signature and after which i got my photo clicked as well :-). Again go back to counter 21 and hand over all the documents along with your license. I got a piece of paper with a RTO seal as acknowledgement and i have been asked to come back after one month :-). Hope that i will get my smart card after one month...
Its soo simple right, but this is how it works here... Every time i visit a government office i remember few words from Gandhi "Its not that you are helping a customer, rather its because of the customer you are existing". I guess its Gandhi , golden words but so far from truth in the Indian government offices.

Bangalore Traffic Police

Few days back i received a mail with an information which was very usefull today . I was coming back from my office at ITPL and just before KR Puram bridge i was stopped by the police constable for not breaking any traffic rule. At the first place i knew it was not legal to stop any one in a free flowing traffic without any reason and you are not supposed to be harassed for documents. Anyway even though i had all the documents, i had failed to check that my emission test document had lapsed a week back. The police constable was immediate to say that i was suppose to pay a fine of Rs300 for not having the valid emission test document. I feel its so strange, every day i have been traveling around 60kms in Bangalore and i see scores of vehicles like auto, lorries which emit lots of carbon yet they never look to be stopped and how come its always the brand new vehicles that's gets stopped? One answer could be the possibility of the owner of a new vehicle just after 1 year not having the emission test document is very high compared to others and hence the opportunity to make some quick money by the police :-)
Any way since i had seen this mail few days back, when the constable asked for Rs 300 fine i told him sorry i am not suppose to pay fine for not having the valid emission test document and i am entitled to get a notice for one week with in which i should produce the document in the police station, hence forth please give me a notice and later i will come to the police station to show you the emission test document. I was so happy to see the surprised police man, at the first place he was surprised to know that people are getting awareness about the law. He was not just surprised he was embarrassed as well, he was immediate to say give me your original vehicle license and not the photo copy. Well i had a back up for this as well :-) I had been to the RTO 3 times for a plastic card and all the 3 times i had been sent back saying we are in the process of upgrading it to smart card and come back after few more days. But few days back i had a big discussion in the RTO and forcefully applied for the smart card. Once you apply for smart card they take back my license and I was given an acknowledgment. I showed the same to the police constable saying my license has been taken back by the RTO and would be given back in a month with the new smart card :-) . He was speech less as he didn't have anything more to say. He just said please get your emission tested in the next petrol bunk :-) i still asked him are you not giving the notice hahaha :-) he said no need :-) hahaha i was sooo happy that i saved some money from getting wasted :-)
I would take this oppurtunity to thank Mr. Praveen Sood (Additional Commissioner of Police) for letting us know about this fact and saving lots of rupees for a common man and also trying to reduce corruption in the traffic police department. Probably if every one who is been stopped know these things i am sure it would be difficult for the traffic police to harass people and make some quick buck.
Now What rule says :
1. If you don't have or if your insurance is lapsed you are suppose to get a notice for 15 days.
2. If you don't have emission test document you are suppose to get a notice for 1 week.
Either of the cases you are not suppose to pay any fine. We can get it done during the notice period and produce it in the police station later. You can only be fined if you fail to get these documents with in the notice period.
Police can't catch you and ask for any documents he can only catch you if you have violated any traffic rule or for drunken driving. Its a mistake if the police is catching people just to verify documents in a free flowing traffic. Also if caught violating a traffic rule you are only supposed to be fined for breaking the rule and not for other cases of not carrying the documents and stuffs :-)
Also thanks to RTI for making aware of these things to a common man :-)