Strict guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on issuing smart cards to bus passengers has put the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in a fix. Officials said that as per the guidelines, all smart cards can only be issued after a commuter provides documents, such as a passport or driver’s licence or Aadhaar card.
BMTC officials are under compulsion to introduce this verification system for students applying for smart cards, but are at sea over how to execute this. The guidelines make the process more tedious, said one official.
Students have to submit their mobile phone number after which they will receive a one-time password. They will have to produce valid IDs. If they produce an Aadhaar card, it has to be authenticated by taking a biometric print.
How to go about this?
“It make take more than five minutes to issue a card. We do not how to go about this. How can we expect students to produce documents for verification.? How many students will have documents like passports?” said an official.
Officials are also at sea on how to enforce the guidelines on cards that have already been issued.
Around five lakh students use BMTC buses. For the process to be executed without any fuss or a long wait, the corporation will have to open up to 80 counters at major bus stops, TTMCs and other points across the city.
“The State government, in its recent budget, had proposed free passes for students to travel in Corporation buses. Students are likely to turn up in large numbers to avail this facility. Last year, we had charged a processing fee for issuing the card. We do not know whether the same rules will be applicable for this year as well. It has to be decided at the government level,” the official added.
The BMTC had issued 1.30 lakh-odd smart cards to students in the city after their launch last year.
Smart cards will be issued to the general public only after they have been issued to students. Initially, the BMTC plans to issue at least 7.5 lakh smart cards to the general public, and the number will increase once the system stabilises.
Every day, more than 50 lakh people travel in BMTC buses. BMTC MD V. Ponnuraj said, “We are in the process fixing the glitches. We will issue smart cards to students after addressing some of the issues, and it will happen by end of this month.”
Source: The Hindu