Come Thursday, the state traffic police would begin a crackdown on all new vehicles running on Delhi roads without high security registration plates (HSRP). Owners found guilty would face a stiff penalty of Rs 2,000 or even the possibility of their vehicles being impounded.
Between May and September this year, as many as 162,000 new vehicles have been registered in Delhi. Less than half of these (76,000 vehicles) have affixed the required HSRPs. As dealers and vendor Rosmerta Technologies exchange blame over delays in completing affixation of HSRPs, vehicle owners stand harassed over lack of clarity in the procedure.
Says Sattvik Mishra who bought a Hyundai Verna on Aug 7, “When I bought my car, I was told I would get a call from the authorities to inform me when the HSRP was ready. I waited for over one and a half months and finally went to enquire at the Pushp Vihar centre on Monday. The plate had been issued. If I had not checked for myself I would now be paying a fine of Rs 2,000.”
While dealers claim that the transport authority has not issued the requisite number of HSRPs, vendor Rosmerta (which is manufacturing the HSRPs and affixing them on vehicle on contract from the state government) alleges that vehicle distributors are not co-operating. U K Kapoor, managing director (operations), Rosmerta Technologies informs, “Previously, dealers used to register vehicles at their end for Rs 500 or Rs 1000. Now that they have lost their business to us, they are not co-operating.”
According to the new norms which have come into place since May 1,2012 all new vehicles plying in Delhi have to affix HSRP. It is mandatory for the transport authority to issue the new plate within six days of receiving cash receipts from the dealer. Kapoor says car dealers often do not send the cash receipts to the manufacturing company on purchase which causes delays in handing over the high security number plates to the authority for issuance.
“They do not sent cash receipts for every vehicle upon purchase but wait for 8-10 files to come in before coming to us”, Kapoor adds. The lapses seemed to have occurred on both sides. In a hearing before the Delhi High Court, the state government's Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri informed on Monday that about 70,000 plates have already been made by the manufacturing company while the transport authority is yet to issue them. He added the concerned dealers too have not come forward to collect them.
Post the decision to of the transport department and the traffic police to seize vehicles without HSRP from Oct 1 (this was deferred for three days to Oct 3), compliance has however gone up substantially says Kapoor. “Earlier we were affixing 500 plates per day. On Sep 27, it went up to 2700.”
Capacity constraints have also eased out over the last few months. The vendor had started with a single outlet while commencing operations on May1. Over the next 45 days another 11 centres were commissioned adjacent to RTOs. The last two outlets were opened in August this year at Sarai Kale Khan and Loni.
The Transport Department is, in the meantime, considering issuing a notification making it mandatory for dealers to hand over new vehicles affixed with high security number plates for full compliance to the HSRP initiative.
The new registration plates are meant for added security. The aluminum plates will reflect light and carry a hologram issued by the state government hot-plated into the sheet.
The registration number will be embossed by special machines and a hot foil will be rolled over the number with IND written on it in blue at a 45 degree angle. A laser number will be inserted on the plate by the manufacturer which will be unique to the registration plate and whose records will be there with the company. The plate will not be fitted by screws but by a snap lock. For four wheelers, a sticker will be embossed on wind screen with the engine and chassis numbers for extra protection.
Plate companies need to invest about Rs 3-4 crore to manufacture the blank plates of different sizes and as much as Rs 20 lakh for a single embossing machine whose numbers will increase based on volumes.
The plates will be tamper-proof, secured by a snap lock, virtually impossible to duplicate by roadside vendors. They promise to provide vehicle-owners with security against theft or misuse by terroristsThe attempt to modernise number plates started in 2001 when the central government came out with a notification that all vehicles have to shift to the new security registration plates in a year. The implementation got delayed due to a plethora of court cases. The Supreme Court resolved the various contentious issues and is monitoring its implementation across the country.