Mangaluru: Citizens wanting to avail driving licenses and register vehicles have had to wait for several months as the transport department is grappling with a shortage of smart cards.
As many as 5,600 and 1.300 applications for vehicle Registration Certificates (RC) and driving licenses (DL) respectively are pending with the Mangaluru RTO office for want of smart cards. A similar situation persists in most RTOs across the state too.
Citizens are complaining that they are left high and dry with officials making empty promises that the documents will be issued soon.
According to the rules, smart cards should be issued within 15 days of application. However, with the acute shortage of smart cards, the wait has been prolonged to at least 2 to 3 months.
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Blank smart cards for DLs and RCs are issued by the transport department in Bengaluru, based on the demand from RTO offices across the state. The process of printing cards has been outsourced to a firm. For this, the private firm has appointed representatives at each RTO office. Based on the information given by the RTO officials the cards are printed on the smart cards supplied.
With the empty smart cards in short supply, the whole process has been slowed down, creating a huge backlog.
Rajavarma Ballal, the president of the Canara Bus Operators’ Association, told “Udayavani” that he also had to wait for more than a month for smart cards. “I bought a new vehicle and registered it with RTO about a month ago, but the smart card RC has not arrived yet. Transport department officials have no answer for the long wait,” he said.
Shivakumar, a resident of Mangaluru, said that he was waiting for his driving license for 2 months now. “I appeared for the driving license test and passed it. But even after 2 months, the DL has not arrived. If you ask the officials of the transport department about this, they say that the smart card has not arrived,” he said.
If all governance issues are being sorted, why haven’t they solved the issues plaguing the transport department, he sought to know.
J. Purushotham, Additional Commissioner (ACT E&E) said that the issue will be solved in a few days. Steps are being taken for adequate distribution of smart cards to each RTO office, he said.