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NOT SMART YET: In the absence of smart card reader, traffic cell of the Goa police check smart cards manually and issue ‘paper’ challans

Traffic cops hamstrung by lack of smart card readers

 

SHOAIB SHAIKH | NT Staff Reporter

PANAJI : In the absence of smart card readers, the traffic cell of the Goa police is helpless in impounding licences and vehicles of habitual offenders as per the rules of the Motor Vehicles Act.

While more than six lakh smart card licences have been issued by the transport department since the launch of electronic chip enabled plastic card system in May 2006, no smart card reading machine has been provided to the Goa police.

The transport department has 20 smart card reader devices for its regional offices, but there is no data available with the department on the use of these devices.

Sources said the devices have been distributed to assistant directorate of transport offices, but whether the same are in use remains a question.

Deputy superintendent of traffic cell, North Goa, Dharmesh Angle told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the department has continued issuing paper challans to offenders based on the ‘physical’ data a smart card carries.  “Currently we are unable to access data on the history of an offender in the absence of a card reader,” he said when asked about the mechanism to check if a licence holder is frequent offender. The Goa police are considering using  e-challan system to fine the offenders at the spot of offence. With e-challan system the police officer will be able to access the centralized data and would know if the offender has been fined earlier for a similar or any other offence.

However, since the new system would require huge funds from the government, the proposal is still at a nascent stage. A few companies have shown interest in developing the needed software as well as hardware for the system to be introduced.

Chief executive officer of Goa Electronic Limited Revati Mujumdar said  the smart cards are compliant with ‘smart card operating system for transport application’ and the data on the card can be accessed even by transport authorities of other states with the help of machines.

GEL is the service provider of the smart card project to the transport department.

The system of issuing plastic cards commenced in May 2006 and 20 card readers were supplied in 2012 to the department for the purpose.  Each  smart card reading machine costs between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000.

GEL had not charged the department as the project was developed on build–own–operate–transfer basis.

The habitual and frequent offenders merry, exploiting the lapse of the transport department, putting at risk the lives of others.

The authenticity of the licences is difficult, which heightens   possibilities of duplication and generation of licences, as has come to light in the past.

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