Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to his home turf Gujarat, on Monday inaugurated various developmental projects, including the much-awaited ‘One Nation-One Card’ in Ahmedabad. The indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), which is an amalgamation of all the existing smart cards, will allow people to withdraw money, shop, pay toll taxes, parking charges and travel on any mode of transportation system across India. Be it a remote village of Uttar Pradesh or a metropolitan city like Mumbai, the card will enable people to travel to any part of the country. The Prime Minister launched the 'Made In India' card while inaugurating the first phase of the Ahmedabad metro train service in Gujarat.
"After many attempts, One Nation-One Card will become a reality. You will be able to withdraw money, will be able to shop and travel in a metro or use other means of transportation, using a common mobility card," Modi was quoted as saying during a public gathering in Ahmedabad on Monday.
PM Modi at a rally in Ahmedabad: After many attempts, One Nation-One Card will become a reality. You will be able to withdraw money, will be able to shop and travel in a metro or use other means of transportation, using a common mobility card. #Gujarat pic.twitter.com/tTxAf5Eogj— ANI (@ANI) March 4, 2019
"This card runs on RuPay card and it will eliminate all your travel related problems. Many times, we do not have change to pay in cash while travelling in metro, bus or train, or for toll and parking. To overcome this issue, an automatic fare collection system was introduced," Modi said.
"Since systems were made by different players, a card issued in one city did not work in another city. Thus, we asked various ministries, departments and even banks to resolve this issue," he added.
According to Central government officials, the One Nation-One Card and all new credit and debit cards issued by most banks can be also used by commuters in PoS machines at metro platforms across India. Passengers can use the card either to get a ticket or just like a Metro Rail smart card to enter and exit stations directly.
"All new credit and debit cards issued by most banks have the National Common Mobility Card feature to make payments for their travel. This is like any other wallet," the statement read.
The idea behind the 'One Nation-One Card' is to buy just one card and travel on bus, metro and even suburban trains using the same. The successful rollout of the common mobility card will bring seamless connectivity between various modes of public transport. Also, the card has all the features of a debit or credit card issued by private or nationalised banks across India. Those features include shopping, online payment, ticket bookings among others.
On 'One Nation-One Card', NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told IANS, "Several agencies including Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, banks, and Urban Development Ministry are involved in this. A huge amount of technology work has been done. We have had several rounds of meetings and all ministries are involved".
Meanwhile, Delhi Metro has begun a test run of indigenously designed automatic fare collection counters (AFCs) which will be able to read these common mobility cards for seamless entry and exit at stations. Once all the formalities are done, the existing networks will be gradually replaced by the new ones.
Currently, we are dependent on foreign technology players for the indigenous technology of AFCs but the mass rollout of One Nation-One Card will make India one of those few countries which enjoy this advanced technology in a pocket-friendly price. For now, the AFCs are restricted to a few metro stations only are very expensive.