Smart cards for PWD contractors

The Public Works Department on Thursday introduced a smart card, replacing the passbook, for registration of contractors with it.

The stated aim of introducing the card is to bring in transparency in registration of contractors and cut down delay in giving registration numbers to contractors who take up road, bridge and other such works from the PWD.

The smart card with photo identity has a chip which stores contractors’ details and some of the works done by them. In the coming days, the details of the agreements to be drawn between the PWD and contractors too would be stored in the chip, according to Thyagaraj, chief engineer (communication and buildings) - South.

While formally distributing the smart cards to three contractors at a programme in the Vidhana Soudha, Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa said the renewal of registration could henceforth be done online. Contractors need not approach middlemen to get themselves registered with the department, he said. At present, the card facility is available only for Grade I and II contractors. But it would be extended to Grade III and IV contractors, the minister said. Thyagaraj said there had been complaints of delay in registration under the passbook system. “The smart cards would be like the driving licence smart cards. A sum of Rs 250 is charged for a card. There are nearly 20,000 contractors in different categories,” he said.

Minister Mahadevappa, referring to sand mining, said the State government cannot be blamed for shortage of sand in the state. In 2013, the National Green Tribunal directed that without the no-objection certificate from the Union environment department, sand cannot be mined. The government is committed to checking illegal sand mining. It has already brought the crime under the Goonda Act, he said.Asked how many had been booked under the Act so far, the minister did not give a direct reply, but said only offenders attracted punishment.

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