Transportation sector to go digital | Sunday Observer

Transportation sector to go digital

Sri Lanka’s transportation sector will undergo major changes in the coming months in keeping with the developments in digital technology that is transforming and revolutionising global transportation, Minister of Transportation and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation (CILT) International Conference 2018 in Colombo last week.

He said the long awaited digital card which will replace the traditional issuing of bus tickets, will be a reality within the next five to six months.

“We have been dilly dallying too long in introducing this card which is used across many countries in the neighbourhood. We were to launch a single card for banking, driving license and other online transaction. However, up to now we could not produce a single card,” de Silva said.

The Ministry with the National Transportation Commission has developed an online bus seat reservation system and GPS monitoring system to track the location and movement of buses.

“The e-motoring project to put an end to long queues at the Department of Motor Traffic to obtain licenses will be ready by six month time.

This is my innovation to ease the burden of people having to go all the way to the Department to obtain a licence,” the minister said.

He said the digital gates at the BIA with traveller information will be in operatiom within the next six months to ease the congestion at the airport. There will be no need for anyone to be at the mercy of immigration officials who always look serious and lack a smile.

“We have about 30-35 seats at the immigration counters but have only around 5-7 officials to assist in the immigration process. We have been discussing the digital passport concept in Parliament for the past three years but have failed to produce a single up to now.

Our airports are second to none in the world. The latest radar systems will be purchased to enhance monitoring efficiency. The facilities at the Ratmalana airport will be upgraded,” the minister said.

The minister said the railway system will undergo transformation with funding from the Asian Development Bank, a move that will include digital reservation system for seats, digital gates and digital ticket issuing machines.

CILT Sri Lanka, Chairperson Gayani de Alwis said Sri Lanka’s global ranking in logistics at 94 against 190 countries by the World Bank needs attention and added that all stakeholders of the industry must put their heads together to improve the ranking. Sri Lanka was ranked 86 in the same category last year.