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02 Mar 2024, Edition - 3154, Saturday

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IRS official fights driving licence to monocular visioned; doctors skeptical

Covai Post Network


Coimbatore: Joint Secretary and Indian Revenue Service official Abhay Damle has written a letter to principal secretaries, transport secretaries and transport commissioners of all States against not issuing driving licence not being given to people with monocular vision.

Abhay argues there are lots of people, including the Nawab of Pataudi with single eye vision, did not come under the physically handicapped category.

The US and the UK permit people with monocular vision to obtain driving licence.

Paediatric ophthalmologist at Vasan Eye Care Dr K Sundaresh, “Molecular vision impairment means the person has sight only in one eye. He may have difficulty in daily life identifying people or objects coming from right side or likewise depending on which of the eyes are damaged. We normally give a certificate to such people stating their condition along with the diagnosis report, but as far issuing licence is concerned it rests completely with the RTO. It also depends on the type of vehicles they can drive since the Armed Forces have their own set of categories which cannot be bypassed by us.”

The problem has no specific time frame and can occur at any point with chances of correction being high if diagnosed early on using laser technology, he says. There is also no guarantee that the person will not face any issues in future, he adds. At the hospital, he sees two to three molecular vision cases on an average and was not willing to be specific on granting licence to such people.

Eye Foundation Medical Director Dr Chitra Ramamoorthy says, “One eye vision is like a person with one hand. It could be a lazy eye wherein the person has minus or plus power in one eye but has good eyesight in the other. One eye is not developed, it could be very small micro cornea defect or the lens could be absent from that eye. It could also be due to iris problem, cornea defects, glaucoma, retinal damage and some maldevelopment in the embryo.”

With one eye the field of vision is hampered but they can perform their daily life activities well. If the problem is due to maldevelopment in the embryotic stage then the chances of curing it permanently are nil except for issues like squint eyes, cataract, cognitive glaucoma and a few other cases.

In the country, if a person had both eyes but became one-eyed later, he can get licence. But if the person is one eyed while applying for a licence he would have to prove himself to be medically fit.

Mettupalayam RTO R Thiyagarajan told The Covai Post: “We issue license after checking the doctor’s report. The candidate has to prove himself medically fit.” Further elaboration would be possible only after seeing the letter sent by Damle, he added.

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