Transport dept gets an earful from CAG

It was not just the Bus Rapid Transport corridor that drew criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General, the transport department's efforts to computerise its functioning also came under fire, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.
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Updated on Feb 27, 2009 12:20 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAnuradha Mukherjee, New Delhi

It was not just the Bus Rapid Transport corridor that drew criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General, the transport department's efforts to computerise its functioning also came under fire.

The government's decision to charge Rs 370 for smart cards during registration of vehicles also drew flak.

"As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, the maximum fee chargeable for smart cards is Rs 200. The department levied an additional fee of Rs 170 as it intended to include additional information on smart cards which was to be collected from various bodies - police, excise and other state zonal offices. However, the department could not collect these additional information and no procedure for capturing and storing additional information were established either," said the report.

The report went on to observe that STIL - the firm hired to prepare the smart cards -- issued 18,00,29 cards against new vehicle registrations and collected an extra amount of Rs 30.61 crore.

The CAG said though the department planned to computerise operations like issue of licences online, it lacked a proper IT plan that led to the non-implementation of applications like SARATHI for driving licences.

The report also stated that the department failed to integrate the databases of commercial vehicles. The databases for autorickshaws, vehicle inspections and taxies and heavy vehicles are all kept separately.

The report said contractual clauses show undue benefits to STIL. The smart cards issued also did not have any holograms or serial numbers that made their verification impossible.

Apart from this, the department, which issued these cards to introduce a paperless work culture, continued to use files when it came to references for a vehicle's registration details.

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