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Govt. to introduce smart card system for driving licences

By Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI, MAY 25. Close on the heels of granting approval for construction of a state-of-the-art Inter-State Bus Terminal at Sarai Kale Khan here, the Delhi Government has cleared the decks for introduction of a smart card system for issuance of driving licence and registration of vehicles in the Capital from July this year. Also, it has decided to crack down on errant commercial vehicles which enter from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and evade taxes causing huge losses to the public exchequer.

The Transport Department is all set to introduce the smart card system for driving licences and registration of vehicles, both private and commercial. According to the Commissioner (Transport), Rajiv Talwar, from July onward it will be good-bye to paper registration certificates. The Department will start issuing high-tech smart card registration certificates for all category of vehicles. This card will have an optical strip containing the history of the vehicle, insurance certificate, pollution certificate and other information including the road tax payment record. With everything stored on a digital card, it will ensure smooth and easy transaction at the time of sale or purchase of vehicles as the mere swiping of the card would furnish all information relating to the vehicle and its past history.

Similarly, for driving licence, the Department would be issuing a smart card. It would contain information about the driver and the chip area will have a smart key. It would contain information about the history of the driver relating to challans. These smart cards would be tamper-proof and cannot be duplicated. Mr. Talwar said that with changing times, there was a need to upgrade technology and reduce the interface of the common man with officials. This effort is aimed at making the functioning of the whole system transparent and bringing the latest technology to the people of Delhi.

To streamline the functioning of the nine offices of the Motor Licensing Officers across the Capital, Mr. Talwar said it had been decided to ensure single-window clearance for those coming in for various works. The Sheikh Sarai authority, he said, had already introduced this system and the entire office handling licensing has been brought on the same floor and other dealing with permits on another floor. Similarly, separate queues had been earmarked for senior citizens and women and a waiting area had been created for the common man. The counters too have been streamlined and one does not have to run around for anything.

Further, Mr. Talwar said a decision has been taken to crack down on taxis -- mainly Tata Sumos and Tata Qualis -- that drive in and out of Delhi everyday without paying the road or State tax. Hundreds of such vehicles ply between Gurgaon and Delhi ferrying call centre employees every day. He said that all those found violating the law would face strict action, including impounding of their vehicles, as they cause huge losses to the exchequer.

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