Mass printer starts printing smart driving licences after overcoming technical glitchesMore than 600,000 applicants are waiting for smart driving licences.
The Department of Transport Management has finally begun printing smart licences using its mass printer which was purchased from Italy nearly three months ago.
Due to a heavy backlog and various complaints about delays in the distribution of smart licences, the department had purchased a mass printer in July to meet the demands of service seekers. However, the printer could not come into operation due to technical issues. After nearly three months, the printer finally has started work.
“The mass printer has come into operation after the completion of the installation process,” said Tirtha Raj Khanal, the department’s information officer. “However, it has yet to print smart licences at full speed, as the trial printing period has just ended.”
The department admitted that the lack of skilled manpower to operate the machine was the primary reason behind the delay in the printing of smart licences.
According to Khanal, the department has purchased an additional one million smart card units from Madras Printers in India to ensure the smooth delivery of licences. According to data provided by the department’s IT department, more than 600,000 applicants are waiting for smart driving licences. As of now, the department receives close to 7,000 new applications every day. However, it has only been able to print 1,500 smart cards a day, leading to a huge backlog.
The department will now print smart licences using its mass printer which has a capacity to print 500 licences every hour, according to Khanal.
“From now on, applicants will receive their licence within a week,” he said.
On October 23 last year, the transport management department awarded a contract to Malika Incorporated to print more than 500,000 backlog licences, but it was able to print only 360,000 cards during its contract period.
“The office failed to print the licences in its allotted time. In addition, we received numerous complaints about the quality of licences, so we had to stop printing through Malika,” said a department official.
Altogether 1.6 million people have applied for smart licences, and so far the department has only been able to issue around 900,000. Smart licences were first issued in December 2015.