Driving licenses and registration of vehicles will come in the form of smart cards in a uniform format across the country.

A decision to this effect was taken at the Transport Development Council meeting of all States chaired by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath on Friday. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is working on developing this card and all States have been directed to implement it in a time-bound programme.

The States also agreed to the concept of issuing a single national permit for commercial vehicles and a Ministerial group has been set up for apportioning the fees among the States in tune with various factors involved in the matter and not to cause distress to any State. The composite fee will be Rs.15,000 per annum.

For ensuring seamless travel the States agreed to do away with the present system of barriers and to set up an integrated check post, which will take care of all kinds of taxes to be levied, only at the entry point of the State concerned.

To contain pollution levels in the wake of rising number of vehicles adding up on the roads, Euro-four norms will be mandatory for vehicles plying in the metros, while for other States it has prescribed Euro-three from April 1, 2010.

To cope with the consequent stress on safety of passengers, the States were directed to put in place within two months Road Safety Councils both at the State and district levels to enforce regulations and implement awareness programmes right down at the school level.

Peeved at the slow pace of land acquisition and dismal performance in the execution of road construction work, Mr. Nath warned that projects would be withdrawn or foreclosed if land were not acquired in time and the funds utilised. The State’s performance would be a consideration in sanctioning fresh projects.

The Ministry agreed to the demands by the States to involve them in the preparation of the feasibility report of the project so as to include all dimensions like construction of bypasses and underpasses and safety considerations. A nodal committee under the Chief Secretary will also be set up for coordination among various departments and monitor the progress.

As regards revamping the Motor Vehicles Act, Mr. Nath said that he expected to take up the matter before the cabinet during the second half of the budget session and there upon consider introducing the Bill in Parliament.

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