The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Software dossier of vehicles and drivers

The state government has started linking the city’s traffic movement with the other metros, like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

According to the plan, the link-up will be computerised and any of the metros can get details of the traffic system of its counterparts.

The National Informatic Centre (NIC), at the instance of the Union road transport ministry, has developed a special software, named Bahan and Sarathi, for the job. Bahan will provide details of the vehicles, while Sarathi will maintain details of the drivers.

“Data and particulars of all kinds of vehicles plying in the city and its suburbs, including the registration number, chassis and engine numbers, tax and pollution certificate details as well as the status of its certificate of fitness, will be fed into Bahan. Sarathi will hold details of the drivers, including the number of the vehicle they drive, their licence details and the authorisation from the vehicle-owners. As similar software will be used by all other metros, the authorities will not find it difficult to get details of any particular vehicle or driver in any other city,’’ explained Prashant, joint secretary in the transport department.

Officials of the Union surface transport ministry recently held a meeting with state transport department officials and urged them to speed up the job.

Prashant said work had started on computerising the details of about 900,000 vehicles plying in the city and about a million drivers. “As we are working to introduce a smart card for drivers, we have already computerised the drivers’ details. It will take some more time to feed it into the specially-developed software. We hope the job will be over within a couple of months,’’ he said.

According to officials, the move will curb crime on wheels. “Computerisation of vehicle details will check car-snatching and hijacking of goods vehicles. The criminals, generally, flee to other states after the crime. So, the police or the transport department fail to trace the particular vehicle or driver. The new system will help sleuths track down the vehicle fast,’’ they said.

Elaborating on the benefits of the system, a senior officer of the Union surface transport department said: “Suppose some goons have hijacked a goods vehicle in Calcutta and fled. Transport officials will convey the information to the other metros through the new system, on the basis of the complaint lodged by the vehicle-owner. All the metros will get the details of the vehicle through the new system and conduct a search.

“Or, suppose Calcutta Police have impounded a car or a goods vehicle of any other state for any illegal activity. The transport department will post the details of the vehicle on the new system and, accordingly, can inform the state concerned,’’ he summed up.

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