Fault lines

The cabinet has decided to make available electronic driving licenses to the people instead of the existing hard paper cards. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) on July 6 received such an order to start issuing e-licences in six months time. When information is computerised, no doubt things become simpler. The idea is to provide the traffic police with portable electronic devices to verify licenses. Once a smart-card is inserted in the device all information relating to the card-holder would be displayed in seconds. Such a system would, therefore, be time-saving and will help in apprehending traffic violators in greater frequency and with ease.

It is a good idea to make use of advanced technology in governance, which, in turn, would make government system more efficient and service delivery faster. Many countries in South Asia are increasingly opting for e-governance through information and communication technology (ICT). Over the past few years, the prospects of taking ICT to remote corners of the country have been explored in Nepal too. The concept of setting telecentres, for instance, in the villages to build a national communication network is a part of that scheme. But it is an expensive affair. Even for e-licences, the DoTM would have to have a ‘good’ budget to start with. Moreover, only introducing e-license is not enough. Higher attention has to be paid to checking bribery and carelessness in agencies with authority to issue licenses. The rising number of road accidents in the country is a testimony to the fact that unskilled hands somehow manage to get the driving licenses. This has to be checked first and foremost.