Chhimi Dema

More than 2,000 clients visit the Road Safety and Transport Authority’s (RSTA) service counters every day after lifting the restriction.

Yesterday, 31-year-old man from Thimphu was waiting outside the RSTA’s service counters. It had been hours, just to get a vehicle fitness test certificate.

He said that he made payment online but it was not reflected on RSTA’s system. Like him, there were many who were either waiting, some for token.

RSTA’s Officiating Director General Ugyen Norbu said that the office issued 100 tokens every morning. Depending on the pace of service, more tokens are issued by five officials.

RSTA was understaffed, he added. The service provision that otherwise require more than 30 staff has to be now attended by six officials.

He said that around 70 RSTA officials were in the south of the country, escorting truckers who convey essential goods.

According to the protocols of ministry of health, any individual coming to the country has to be quarantined for 21 days. He said that if a trucker is quarantined, there would not be enough truckers to convey essential goods into the country.

RSTA officials, as escort, ensure that arrangements such as eating inside and maintaining distance are made without pit stops, he added. “Since our manpower is directed for escort services, we have not been able to provide other service.”

Clients said that they were not able to access RSTA server even.

Ugyen Norbu said that while availing RSTA online services and making payments, the clients must go through Government to Citizen Services (G2C) aggregator and then to financial institutions.

RSTA has been receiving hundreds of messages on their Facebook page urging the authority to resume driving tests.

Ugyen Norbu said that RSTA was looking for possibilities to conduct driving tests on weekends but with less frequency than before.

Considering that RSTA is understaffed and the officials have to work on weekends, options to conduct driving tests once a month is being considered, he added. 

Notification that fines and penalties would not be levied from those who are unable to renew vehicle documents and driving licence stands.

RSTA has also been conducting drug tests and highway inspections regularly.