Friday, 24 September, 2021

Resumption of driving license exams still in limbo


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 16: The officials at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) have informed that they are unsure as to when the suspended driving license examinations will resume.
Since March 24, 2020, the examinations have been suspended for a long time because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving thousands of would-be drivers waiting for moths.
Only nine months later, on December 29 of that year, the examinations were resumed. The data provided by the Department shows that a total of 714,799 individuals have registered applications for the examinations from December 29, 2020 to April 13, 2021.
However, only 151,999 individuals (21 percent) were able to appear for the examinations during that period because of the lack of enough trial centres and manpower.
There are 23 trial centres across the country, including four in the Kathmandu Valley. When operated at full capacity, they can conduct examinations of around 5,000 individuals a day. That has left the applicants waiting for months despite filling up the online application months earlier.
Roshan Shrestha, a resident of Tinkune, was given a date in October, this year when he filled up his application for a motorcycle licence in February.
However, with the authorities suspending the examinations once again on April 29, thousands like Shrestha are unsure of when their turn will come.
“My turn was slated for October, but with the examination suspended once again before it arrived, it seems I have to wait much longer,” said Shrestha.
Issuing a notice on April 27, the DoTM informed that the process for driving license examination was suspended until further notice from April 29. That’s when the restriction order to rein in the raging second wave of the pandemic went into effect.
The restriction has been lifted now, but the DoTM officials informed that resuming the driving license examinations were still far from certain.
“We will resume the examinations if the government’s COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) recommends us,” said Lok Nath Bhusal, DoTM information officer.
As per the DoTM officials, the centre’s recommendation might come only after the risk of the pandemic recedes significantly.
“It seems that the driving license examinations may resume only after the situation of the country turns favourable for educational institutions to run in-person classes,” said Bhusal.