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Bureaucracy at Motor Traffic Department stands in way of humanitarian consideration

By Sirimantha Rathnasekera

Officials continue to ignore a directive of the National Transport Medical Institute to the Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic to extend the validity period of licences given to the differently abled.Over 10,000 differently abled drivers have thus been greatly inconvenienced. These include a large number of former soldiers who were wounded during the war.

Differently-abled drivers need to renew their licences once in two years. Given the discriminatory nature of the practice, the National Transport Medical Institute instructed relevant officials to extend the validity period of the licences to either four or eight years. Only those drivers whose disability would not increase over time were eligible.

“The National Transport Medical Institute recommended the Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic to issue a circular on 19 January 2022. However, nothing has been done,” a Department source said.

Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic Nishantha Weerasinghe said that he had only assumed duties a few days ago. “However, this is a sensitive topic and I have already looked into this. Soon, drivers with different needs would no longer need to renew their licences once in two years,” he said.

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