The Kerala government will take stringent measures to check forging of driving licences, Transport Minister Jose Thettayil said here on Thursday.

A department level enquiry had been ordered to find out whether any official of the Motor Vehicles Department was associated with members of the licence mafia arrested in the Thrissur district. The Deputy Transport Commissioner, Kochi, would conduct the enquiry. A police enquiry was also being contemplated.

The Minister said in an official release that he had directed the officials to use modern technology to detect fake licences and intensify checks. The executive committee on Road Safety headed by the Chief Secretary had been asked to review the system for the issue of licences.

Mr. Thettayil said that systems were in place for verification of the authenticity of licences from the central database of the Department through short messaging service (SMS) during vehicle checks. Currently, licences were being verified using the digital bar code hologram. The original bar codes contain information on the owner of the licence and address. The fake licences would not have this information.

He said that middle men could be eliminated in the 60 regional transport offices and 18 check posts following computerisation. Thus, corruption could be checked to some extent. Besides, the issue of licences and renewal could be speeded up. The public should cooperate by not approaching agents for licences and other services.

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