New Delhi: Punjab, which has won accolades for radical reforms and innovation in its transport sector, has sought Rs 18 crore financial assistance from the Centre to digitise documents related to over one crore old vehicles to save on huge office space.
"We have sought Rs 18 crore assistance from the Centre for scanning of over one crore old vehicle registration certificates. Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi has assured us our demand will be considered in the next fiscal," Punjab Transport Secretary Mandip Singh told reporters after a meeting between State Transport Minister Ajit Singh Kohar and Joshi today.
Singh said the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry has approved Rs 50 lakh for digitisation of data at present. The state has been recording one of the minimal number of road accidents for the last three years and has already overhauled its existing fleet of about 3,000 buses.
Punjab, Singh said, meanwhile will embark on the ambitious project of scanning all old registration certificates from February this year from its own funds as the huge files had occupied lot of office space.
"Directions will be issued to all 22 district transport offices for start of the scanning work of old records from February onwards so that the files can be disposed of," Singh said adding all recent records have already been computerised.
Elaborating the initiatives taken by its transport department, the State Transport Secretary said: "Punjab is the only state in the country which has authorised the principals of its state technical institutions including medical and engineering colleges, High Schools and ITIs to issue driving licences to eligible students".
Apart from issuing about 500 driving licenses to eligible students, the state had undertaken a massive drive against drunken driving resulting in the state registering the minimum number of accidents in the country, he added.
Besides, the state's initiative on e-governance has ensured registration of vehicles and payment of taxes online, he added. The state has about 50 lakh driving licence holders. Meanwhile, Singh added that apart from states like Odisha seeking help for e-governance from the Punjab transport ministry, Kenya has expressed willingness to join hands with with the north Indian state to emulate its model.
"We were encouraged to see the great strides you have made in using technology to address everyday challenges. There are significant opportunities for our two governments to collaborate in our e-government initiatives," Kenya's Registrar of Motor Vehicles Francis Meja has said in a letter to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal. The state on January 7 had won Road Safety Award from Highways Minister Joshi here.


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