KOCHI: The delay being faced by the lottery vendors in getting tickets will be a thing of the past with the Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS) finally clearing the decks for commissioning the newly-brought advanced lottery printing machine.
The machine, which is capable of churning out two crore lotteries in a day, is in the final stage of installation.
Though the department had purchased the `13-crore machine several months ago, its commissioning was delayed after the former KBPS managing director failed to follow certain legal procedure while procuring it from a private agency.
“All the hurdles have now been cleared,” said KBPS managing director Karthik Kannan. “The process of installing the new lottery printing machine is going in full swing. Some civil and electrical works need to be completed. We hope the new machine will be operational within a few months.”
KBPS prints 1 crore lottery tickets in seven series every day. “As per the Kerala State Lotteries Department’s requirement, the printed lotteries have to be handed over to the department 15 days prior to their draw date. Only then will the vendors get enough time to sell them. But at present, we print these many tickets in just one machine. Once the new machine gets operational, we will be able to complete the printing prior to the deadline. However, it will take at least six months to operate both the machines simultaneously as we have to carry out a major maintenance work on the old machine which has been in operation for over three decades,” said Karthik.
The department is also in the process of training their staff to operate the advanced printing machine. “Since the new machine is more advanced, the complexity of the same is also high. At present, the KBPS is depending on private parties to operate it but once our staff are trained, they will be capable of operating it. We are giving training to each employee for this purpose,” he said. It is learnt the government is planning to create an electronic engineers’ post to bring the operation of the advanced machine completely under KBPS.