Fortnight On, ARTO Office Kupwara Vacant

RTO Kashmir says he was hopeful of early appointment of new ARTO

Rehan Showkat

Kupwara, Sep 21 : More than two weeks into the attachment and subsequent arrest by Anti-Corruption Bureau of then incumbent ARTO Kupwara, the post continues to remain unmanned.

A number of people unequivocally urged the authorities to appoint the new Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) to the office. “From the time the office fell vacant, applications by vehicle owners for procurement of different necessary documents have been piling up with each day”, said a vehicle owner, who maintains to have been frequently visiting the office for over a week now. “I am being turned back each day with the assurance that the documents will be cleared once the new ARTO is appointed”, he said adding, “However no such appointment is being made so far.”

Another vehicle owner said that he has also been awaiting issuance of documents from the office for nearly a month now. “I was anticipating that the documents will be cleared soon, however on visiting the office, I am being told that the office is non-functional in absence of ARTO”, he said.

Many other vehicle owners had somewhat similar stories to narrate, who decried the pendency of various documents from the office. The vehicle owners have urged the authorities to appoint a new ARTO.

When contacted, Regional Transport Officer Kashmir Sajid Naqash told GNS that his office has written a proposal to government, seeking for appointment of the ARTO. “The proposal is likely to get a clearance very soon”, Naqash opined.

Pertinent to mention here that ARTOs Kupwara and Anantnag were as per an order number 824-JK (GAD) of 2021, Dated: 04.09.2021 attached with Divisional Commissioner’s office ‘in the interest of administration’. However in a subsequent development, Anti-corruption Bureau on September 6, 2021 said to have registered a case against Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi, the then ARTO Kupwara, Khursheed Kanna and Abdul Hamid Bhat, Motor Vehicle Inspectors, besides Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Agent working in office of ARTO Kupwara) on recovery of rupees 15 lakh cash following a ‘surprise checking’ at the site of driving test in Nagri Kupwara. (GNS)

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