As over 9 lakh people await their smart license, govt officials tour Europe on pretext of training

  • December 4, 2019

It has been three months since the Department of Transport Management imported a machine with outstanding capacity to mass print smart license. A team of delegates from the Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport visited Europe three weeks ago to participate in a training to learn to use the machine. The printing machine, however, has still not come into operation.

The Department had said that the printing machine was “ready to use” a month ago, but the machine is still in trial-printing phase. The only explanation from the Department has been “technical problem”. The team from the Department had visited Europe with the sole purpose of learning the machine’s technical know-how, but they still don’t know how.

The Department of Transport had bought the mass printing machine from the Italy-based Matika Company for around seven crore (70 million) rupees. The company had invited Nepali technicians to Italy for a training session. However, the ‘technical team’ involved the executive director of the Department of Transport, chief of administration at the Ministry of Transport, and the private secretariat of Transport Minister Raghuvir Mahaseth. Only one technical person, engineer at the Department of Transport, Er Keshav Gautam was in the team.

After being unable to put the new and expensive machine to use, the Department is still dependent on Indian technicians to print smart license.

The new mass printer is capable of printing up to 450 cards per hour. At present, the department is issuing smart license to a few with recommendation from various sides whereas those without any political influence can’t have their license even after a year-long wait.

The Department of Transport has yet to print more than nine lakh licenses. The department is supposed to be printing at least 4,000 licenses per day, but it is unable to print even 1,500 cards each day on average.