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Transport card shelved

New Delhi, Feb. 20: A proposed national transport card for access to public transport across cities has been shelved after running into procedural and security glitches since being announced amid much fanfare in December 2011.

The National Common Mobility Card, conceived by the Kamal Nath-headed urban development ministry and branded More, would have enabled a Calcutta user to use the plastic in Delhi and Mumbai.

Instead of the national card, the ministry has now asked states, some of which had started work on the plan, to develop such options at their own level with the promise of integration with national networks later. The ministry recently wrote to the states with some inputs.

The idea was to promote use of public transport in a way that was seamless and hassle-free. To begin with, the card would have been used in government buses and Metros, before gradually covering other modes such as autos and taxis.

Although users would have been given access across cities, a key challenge was to integrate fares that aren’t uniform across states.

Nath’s ministry received complaints last November from NXP Semiconductors, a company whose bid was rejected, about irregularities. An inquiry was ordered, delaying the tender process.

The home ministry weighed in with security concerns. “It is a new technology and will take time to be tested. There have been security concerns, we are working in collaboration with the home ministry on the issue,” said urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna.