The Bihar authorities appear set to miss the March 31, 2017, twice extended, deadline for digitisation of arms licenses in the state, under the National Database of Arms Licenses (NDAL) project.
Thanks to factors, such as hiccups in the flow of the required information from the licensees’ end, the process of uploading arms licenses data in an electronic format developed for the purpose by the National Informatics Centre, has failed to make the desired progress.
Despite extension of deadline for completion of the process twice – from September 30, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and then to March 31, 2017, the Bihar home department looks in no position to furnish all information on arms, their make, their sellers and their owners.
According to reports available here, out of 38 districts in Bihar,14 districts have not even started uploading arms license data under the project.
Under the project, after the details of arms license are entered, a unique identification number is assigned to the license holder, without which no arms license shall be considered as valid with effect from April 1, 2017.
In view of the approaching revised deadline for digitalization, the state home department has organized video conference on Thursday (March 16) with arms magistrates in each district to address the issue.
A directive has also been issued to all district magistrates to speed up the process.
In addition to the issuance of a unique identification number and digitalization of database, stringent regulations have been put in place for issuance and renewal of arms licenses across the country, as part of an initiative to curb terrorist activities.
The database contains information such as the name and address of the license holder, the type of weapon and the license number. Arms license holders in all districts were notified about the regulation through the respective offices.
Despite persistent queries from HT, no official was willing to say whether or not the March 31 deadline for uploading the arms licenses data would be met.