Kathmandu, November 30 The government has issued almost 120,000 smart driving licences since it was first introduced in December last year. As per Department of Transport Management (DoTM) — the government body authorised to issue driving licences — 120,000 digital licences have been issued in Bagamati Zone till today out of 160,000 such smart licences planned for the region in the first phase. The smart driving licence project was initiated by DoTM and funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and is being implemented only in Bagamati Zone in the first phase. DoTM plans to take this project nationwide gradually and replace the existing manual driving licences. “We have issued almost 120,000 digital licences in Bagmati Zone till today,” a DoTM official told The Himalayan Times seeking anonymity, adding that DoTM, however, is facing problems in printing the driving licences due to the dearth of printers. DoTM currently has only three sophisticated printers to print the smart licences, which according to DoTM sources, is the reason for the delay in the printing process. As 120,000 smart licences have already been issued out of a target of 160,000 smart cards, sources at DoTM say that the department will soon face crunch of smart cards if the government does not take the initiative to bring more smart cards. “The remaining stock of smart cards will be over by the next two months and it will directly affect the plan to replace the manual driving licences with digital cards,” the DoTM official said, adding that the government has not done much to procure new smart cards. Meanwhile, Sundhar Bhattarai, deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), informed that the government is likely to collaborate with ADB to procure smart cards. For the first phase of the smart driving licence project, ADB had provided a grant assistance of $25 million. Similar to a bank debit/credit card, the smart driving licences have electronic chips which contain the rider’s identity and vehicle registration number. DoTM also plans to gradually replace manual bill book with smart bill book in the long run.