Kathmandu, Sept 17
As a result of government laxity, almost 700,000 service-seekers have been deprived of smart driving licence.
With limited capacity to print smartcards, the Department of Transport Management has not been able to issue smart driving licences to almost 700,000 service-seekers who had applied for renewal of old licences or had passed vehicle trial more than a year ago.
Even DoTM officials accept that it has not been able to issue smart driving licences as per demand owing to low printing capacity.
Low printing capacity of smart driving permits has plagued DoTM for almost two years, but the department has not been able to address the problem.
While some DoTM officials said the problem could not be addressed due to frequent changes in the leadership of the department, others cite lengthy process of procuring mass printers and lack of resources with DoTM as the cause.
In the last one year, leadership at DoTM has changed thrice.
Gogan Kumar Hamal, who was appointed to the department’s top post on May 2, is optimistic that the printing and distribution of smart driving licences will become smooth before Dashain.
“It is true that we have not been able to cater to the demand for smart driving licence and a large number of service-seekers have been affected. However, we have procured a mass printer, which will start printing smartcards from next week,” he told THT.
The new mass printer has the capacity to print 400 smartcards per hour, according to Hamal. “We have decided to print smart driving cards for 18 hours a day in three shifts from next week. If everything goes as planned, we will be able to issue smart driving licence to all pending applicants within a few months,” he claimed.
Though DoTM has been printing smart driving cards using a couple of printers in different shifts at present, it is able to print only around 3,000 such cards per day while the daily demand for smart driving licences is more than 5,000 a day.
“Even new service-seekers will be able to get smart driving licences within a week after Dashain,” claimed Hamal.
A version of this article appears in print on September 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.