Centre quivers as provinces rush to issue driving licence

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Nov 3, 2018-

Federal government authorities fear provincial governments rushing to issue motor driving licences could catalyse malpractices because of the lack of infrastructure and distribution system.

There is widespread opinion that state governments are currently ill equipped to issue driving licences.An official at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, who did not wish to be identified, told the Post there is no harm in delegating authority, but the fact that provincial governments are willing to issue traditional driving licence is something to worry about.

“The probability of irregularities is high in issuing traditional licence cards that have details printed on paper. Province 2, in particular, is infamous for misappropriation,” the official said. Province 2, in particular, is desperate to issuing driving licence. It has even invited applications from aspiring drivers. It has distributed application forms to transport offices across the province.

The provincial government had backtracked on the plan of issuing licences following the federal government’s rigid stance.“We urged them [Province 2] to not issue licences because there has to some common mechanism in issuing licences in all seven provinces,” the official said.

Gandaki is another province keen to issue driving licence. It recently threatened to start issuing licences if the federal government fails to open licence applications.Currently, accepting applications for driving licences is closed because of festivals.The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) plans to receive applications after the Chhath festival ends mid-November.DoTM Director Gokarna Prasad Upadhayay admitted there is intense claim from a number of provincial governments for the issuing rights.

The department is making preparations to hand over such authority at the earliest, he said, and added that the department wants to make sure that a standard is maintained by all the provinces while doing so.

“We are currently preparing for this. It might take around four months to get ready for it,” Upadhayay said. “Not just licence, we need to designate an authority at the provincial government to register new-vehicles as well.”

Issuing new driving licences has become complicated following the decision to switch to digital licences from the traditional driving permit.

Published: 03-11-2018 07:27

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