Karnataka Transport Department Making Hi-Tech Difference to Life

The Transport Department is trying to make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective while increasingly relying on online services for accountability and transparency in the system. The basic idea of Smart Cities is to smartly utilise available resources to sustain every function of urban livelihood, says B Dayananda, Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety, Department of Transport, Government of Karnataka, in conversation with Ritika Srivastava of Elets News Network (ENN).         

What is the mandate of Transport Department in the State of Karnataka?

The Transport Department is trying to make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective. We are increasingly relying on online services to bring accountability and transparency in the system. Mobile apps for transport services are getting popular day-by-day. We have also formed e-groups through which we gauge citizens’ feedback. We are also monitoring developmental programmes and activities with the aid of cyber tour of worksites.

We aim to make the mobility smarter as well as safer. Hence, we are increasing the use of technology based monitoring, enforcement and inspection of vehicles to ensure safer and cleaner vehicles, creating safe licensed drivers using technology based transparent and effective training and evaluation of driving license applicants.

We are developing digital database and online facilities for regulating and issuing permit for commercials vehicles under the ambit of Transport Department.

How is Karnataka adopting ICT for transforming transport sector?

The Transport Department as a first step towards implementation of ICT, took up computerisation of all the vehicles and driving licenses records in 2009. A Smart Card project under the caption ‘Computerised Service Delivery System at transport offices in Karnataka’ was commenced from February 2009. The project was implemented under Public Private Partnership model.  The project has so far covered all 61 Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), 15 checkposts and nine supervisory offices.

Till June, 2017 about 1.05 crore smart card Driving Licence (DL) and 1.40 crore smart card Registration Certificates (RC) were issued across the State.

Karnataka State Wide Area Network (KSWAN): KSWAN has been provided by e-governance department to all the RTOs of the State. Using KSWAN, data transfer to State Register and National Register of DL and RC and other agencies, is being done.

Online Application Services: The department has introduced online application services for issue of learner’s license, driving license and vehicle registration at all the RTOs in the State from October, 2013.

e-Payment System: e-Payment system has been implemented integrated with Khajane-2 system of Treasury Department of the State. As on 10th August, 2017, a sum of Rs.127.12 crores has been collected from 4,89,522 vehicles’ registration. Online collection of driving license fee is also introduced through Sarathi-4 application.

The online payment can be made through 17 banks. Online MIS Reports and reconciliation facility are made available to RTOs. Provision of online payment of permit fees, post-registration services fees and fines will be introduced shortly.

Services thorough Citizen Service centres: Two services namely issue of Vehicle RC extract and issue of driving licence extract are being rendered through citizen service centres of Bangalore-one (B-1) and Karnataka-one (K-1) centres from December 2012. The citizen can visit the nearest B1 or K1 centres and obtain the DL/RC extract by paying the prescribed of Rs 18 for each of the documents. It is proposed to extend Sarathi-4 online application services through these centres. As of 31st March, 2017, a total of 21.41 lakh RC extracts and 10,694 DL extracts had been issued to the public.

Services thorough Mobile App: The selected services of the Department are being rendered through mobile app, integrated with Karnataka-Mobile one project of e-Governance Department. They can easily obtain RC or DL extract in the form of PDF by making the online payment through app. As on 31st March, 2017, a total of 1,08,114 RC extracts and 8,943 DL extracts have been issued through the app. Mobile app can be downloaded by giving a miss call to 1800 425 425 425.

In the era of Smart Cities, how sustainable and effective ‘Transport Mobility’ can play an important role to change the urban landscape?

The basic idea of Smart Cities is to smartly utilise available resources to sustain every function of urban livelihood while ensuring least externalities and maintaining resources for future generations as well. In that sense, sustainability becomes the core requirement for a city to become smart. Achieving this can have permanent impact on increased liveability of Smart Cities. Better land use and transport integration will help contain urban sprawl, reduce travel distances and thereby not just encourage usage of sustainable modes of transport but also reduce the need for heavy transport infrastructure.

The sum effect of this on urban landscape could be in terms of more aesthetically appealing cities, preservation and even growth of green cover, more social spaces for people to socialise and thereby more safer spaces, including for women.

What are the challenges in building  an effective and tech driven urban transport mechanism?

One of the major challenges is the fragmented governance structure of urban transport where multiple agencies work with overlapping roles. Also, there is more top down decision- making in urban transport than bottom up.

   We often see lack of customisation and research based development of technical solutions for urban transport in India, where traffic and driving behaviour is fundamentally different than as observed in rich economies.

 There is also a lack of understanding and awareness about the negative  implications of traditional supply based (road infrastructure based) transport development, which is not sustainable in the present and future context.

What initiatives are being planned  by the Karnataka’s Transport department?

Implementation of Vahan-4: It is a centralised and web-based application developed by Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, relating to vehicle registration services. Customisation of Department’s requirements is under final stages. Pilot- run in one RTO and one senior RTO is also under progress.

e-Challan System: The Department has initiated implementation of e-Challan web-based application/Mobile based app developed by NIC, Delhi. This app helps in carrying out effective enforcement activities.   

Call Centre: Call Centre is being commenced to answer the queries relating to the RTO Services. The tender work is under progress.

Digitisation of all the RTO records: Scanning of manual vehicle records at all the RTOs of the State is initiated. The preliminary works is being taken up.

E-Permits for Autorickshaws: It is being proposed to issue e-permits for autorickshaws in Bengaluru. The e-permit will be issued in security paper along with QR code, Aadhaar authentication and other security features. The preparatory works have been taken up with assistance of NIC and National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (NICSCI) empanelled vendor.

GPS: Department has proposed for fitment of GPS to all the stage carriage, school buses and taxis in the State. Preliminary discussions are being held with Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).  

Fitment of Speed Governor to Transport Vehicles: Integration of details of fitment of speed governor with Vahan software is taken up. The pilot implementation has been commenced at RTO, Yelahanka (KA-50).

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