The functions of the Department of Motor Traffic are to be decentralised by setting up offices at district level to improve efficiency and effectiveness in registering and licensing motor vehicles, B.D.L Dharmapriya, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic told the Business Times.
He noted that six branch offices would be opened this year with online service facilities for the convenience of the public living outside the capital Colombo. After the setting up of these branch offices people in rural areas won’t need to visit Colombo to obtain their driving licenses.
The department plans to set up offices in Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Vavuniya, Kegalle, Kalutara and Batticaloa districts with the Anuradhapura branch office to be opened during the Deyata Kirula exhibition next month, he revealed.
The branches opened in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Hambantota are functioning effectively and providing an efficient service, he said adding that the department had plans to expand its functions in Badulla and Ratnapura areas but they shelved this plan because of the difficulty in finding suitable land for this purpose.
Mr. Dharmapriya said that the decentralisation of these functions will reduce the processing time to register, issue licences and transfer motor vehicles.
It will also ease the burden of applicants and reduce the workload at the head office in Narahenpita, he added.
The Treasury has allocated Rs.100 million for the decentralization of the Motor Traffic Department branch network from previous budgets and it was not utilsed as yet, a senior finance ministry official said.
"Funds have been allocated to construct two district offices at Vavuniya and Batticaloa under the Government's East development program," he said.
"The current district level offices which are headed by the Examiner of Motor Vehicles will be upgraded to offices under the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner," he said.
The official revealed that the Department will be fully automated with an online network to the district office which will simplify the work.