14 lakh license cards have arrived, but printing and distribution have not been finalized

Driver's License: Union and State's Own Rules

9 Manseer, Kathmandu. The Transport Management Department has received 14 lakh smart license printing cards. The French sales company has supplied 1.4 million cards under a contractual agreement.

The printing and distribution of licenses has stopped since February 2077 due to lack of cards. The department has not been able to print licenses for over a year for those in service except those who need to go abroad. Due to negligence and delay in supply, the license could not be verified and the printing of the license was also stopped during the period of prohibition.

Though the card has been issued for printing recently, the department is not in a position to start printing immediately. It is not yet known whether the card given by the department’s director Ramchandra Poudel Salep is as per the specification given by the department.

The department is still not able to decide who will be given to check the criteria and quality of the card. According to Director Poudel, a list of potential companies will be prepared and the cards of the selected companies will be tested as per the process. For that, the sample of the card has to be sent to a foreign company.

“Printing can be started only after verification of the card issued by Selp,” he said. Till now, the cards distributed by the department were supplied by Madras Security Printers of India. He is also responsible for system management and printing of smart licenses.

Madras will have to complete software privatization by now in order to print the cards supplied by Selp. Madras was not interested in system improvement for long after the contract was awarded to a separate company.

However, the department claims that Madras is working on necessary changes to the system after the government warned of blacklisting. However, it is not yet clear how easy it is to print a license on a salep card in the Madras system.

Currently, around 700,000 drivers are waiting for a smart license after passing the license exam and completing the renewal process.

Due to delay in providing smart license, the department is issuing trial license (tentative) with a period of one year on the day of completion of the process. Service recipients are not satisfied, even though the department issues temporary licenses with ‘QR codes’ to differentiate between genuine and fake.

Even after the commencement of printing of the new card, it is not possible for the service beneficiary to get the smart license immediately. The new machine brought by the department a year and a half ago can print up to 450 licenses per hour. Running 21 hours a day, up to 9,000 cards can be printed. In this way 2.5 lakh licenses can be printed in a month.

About 700,000 licenses are yet to be distributed. The license cards to be printed after each exam are being added.

Every day between 2,000 and 2,500 drivers complete the license process across the country. According to the department, licenses should be distributed between seven lakh to one lakh annually. If there is only one printing machine, there is a danger of stopping printing if there is a technical problem with it.

Drivers who have completed the process due to the government’s inaction are using ‘red receipt’ without a photo of the revenue paid without license, which the traffic police cannot easily identify.

Prior to the distribution of smart licenses, the government had promoted ‘modern technology, excellent quality’. It was said that no fake printing should be done, fire should not be burnt, letters should not be erased, service friendly, support in e-governance etc. However, once distribution started, there was no balance between demand and printing.

Meanwhile, it is now the responsibility of the state government to complete the smart license distribution process. The state government has started looking after the offices under the Transport Management Department. There is an acute lack of coordination between the Licensing Office and the Licensing Printing Department.

The number of people applying for the license and awaiting the written test has exceeded seven lakh. After receiving many applications, the department is taking applications from the system only for a certain number of hours every day.

Even if the problem is resolved for one year with the temporary license, the department will not be able to print a new card and make it available for two years.

Source: OnlineKhabar

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