Transport Management Department brings in new machine to meet service seekers’ demandsThe new printer has the capacity to print around 10,000 smart licenses in a day and will print all pending licences with two months, say authorities.
Rajkumar Pandit, of Kageshwari Manahara-6, passed his driving test from Sukedhara around 11 months ago. But till date, he has not received his licence. “I was told that I would get a license within six months, but that didn't happen,” said Pandit, 19. “I am going abroad for my studies within this month, and I thought that I would take up a part-time job as a delivery boy there but I don’t think I am going to get a licence in time.”
The reason behind the delay was that there are too many applicants and a few printers. “Every day we receive around 8,000 applications; however, we are only able to print 1,500 licences in a day, as we only have five printers and that too are very slow,” said Bandhu Prasad Bastola, Director at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM).
Raman Dawadi, 21, of Mulpani, received his licence nearly a year after he passed his tests. But only two weeks later, his licence saw some defects. “I was happy I had finally received the licence, although I had to wait long. But within two weeks, my photo started erasing from the card, and soon it was almost impossible to identify my photo. I had to fill up another form to reprint the licence for which they charged me an extra Rs500,” said Dawadi.
Due to the heavy backlogs and various complaints about the delay in distribution of smart license, the government had on September last year signed a contract with a company called Malika Incorporate to clear all the backlogs. According to the managing director of Malika Incorporate Surendra Dhakal, the company had printed around 360,000 such smart licences. But problems with their printing soon started surfacing.
“We were assigned to print smart licences using thermal technology by the government, as the cost of printing with thermal technology is reasonable in comparison to using laser technology,” shared Dhakal to the Post. “Normally thermal technology is used only in plastic cards, like ATM cards. And the cards the government provided us with were fully carbonated, which are mostly used to print through laser technology. This is why the cards showed the defects,” added Dhakal.
After the company failed to clear backlogs, the DoTM bought a new mass printer from Italy, but the machine has not been used till now. “The mass printer was installed around 10 days ago. The installation of software is in progress,” said Director General at DoTM Gogan Bahadur Hamal.
“We have purchased the required cards for printing and are now providing technical knowledge of the new mass printer to our staff. After completing the process, licences will be printed through the mass printer,” shared Hamal to the Post.
Although around 1 million smart cards have already been printed, there are still 500,000 backlogs remaining, said IT officials at DoTM.
“After the mass printer starts printing the license, all the backlogs will be cleared within 2 months, as it has a capacity to print around 10,000 smart licenses in a day. After clearing the remaining backlogs, the new applicants will get their license within 10 days,” shared DG Hamal to the Post.
“There won’t be any technical issues in the new printer as the company has sent an expert along with the mass printer which will look after if any problems arises for 2 years,” further added Director at DoTM Bastola. The DoTM had started distributing smart licences from December 2015.