Shortage of smart cards hits vehicle owners hard

Buying a new vehicle or getting your personal details changed on the registration certificate of your existing vehicle? Keep all the receipts and documents intact till you get the optical card-based registration certificate. And chances are that you will have to wait for not less than a month before you get the registration certificate.

And if you are found driving your vehicle without a valid registration certificate or documents that prove your ownership of your vehicle, the traffic police can even impound it.

There is a severe shortage of smart cards in the transport authority and there is a backlog of at least 40,000 cards.

The transport department has outsourced the job of making smart-card based registration certificates to a private company, which is failing to meet the rising demand.

According to officials, more than 1,400 new vehicles are registered at 14 zonal offices in the Capital. Almost an equal number of duplicate registration certificates for older vehicles - due to change in ownership, change in residential address, removal of bank hypothecation, due to lost card and endorsement of CNG - are also made at these offices every day.

While the demand is almost 3,000, transport department officials said the supply of cards is not even half of it. Result: The vehicle owners are forced to make rounds of the zonal offices again and again.

“I recently paid off the bank’s loan on my car and applied for the deletion of hypothecation from the registration certificate. It has been more than a month but I have yet to get the card. Every time I come the transport officials give me a new date,” said Rajeev Gupta, a Vikaspuri resident.

Transport department officials, however, express their helplessness. “We have outsourced this job. It is the company’s responsibility to buy the smart cards and prepare registration certificates. But there is no supply of the cards. We have reported the matter to our seniors,” said the motor licensing officer of a zonal office requesting anonymity.

Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami said the company which has been given the contract has been served a notice. “We have served a notice to the company. We will take a strict action if the situation does not improve in the next few days,” Goswami said.


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