Friday, May 4, 2012

High Security No. Plate debuts in Delhi


Often rules are perplexing and changes are chaotic !

A vehicle is owner’s pride and the primary identification is the Registration No. as seen in the Number plate.  All motorized vehicles plying on road have to be registered with Regional Transport Authorities who provide which Registration No. – a combination of Letters and Numerals.  The licence plates [Registration No. plates]  are to be placed in the front and back of the vehicle.  There are clear guidelines on the size, lettering, colour and display [it is another matter that many flout by having fancy No. plates written stylishly ! and in regional languages].  Going by the present rules, the No. plates for Private cars and 2 wheelers have black letters written on white board while Commercial vehicles such as Taxis and trucks have a yellow background and black text

The dimensions are also specified :
Class of Vehicle

Dimension not less than

Height 
Thickness 
Space
in MM
in MM
in MM
All Motor Cycles and three wheeled invalid carriages
Rear Letter
35
7
5
All Motor Cycles and three Wheeled invalied carriages
Rear Numeral
40
7
5
Motor Cycle
Front letter and numerals
15
2.5
2.5
with engine capacity less than 70 CC
Other Motor cycles
Front letter and numerals
35
5
5
Three wheeler of engine capacity not exceeding 500 CC
Rear and front numeral
35
7
5
Three wheelers of engine capacity exceeding 500 CC
Rear and front numeral
40
7
5
All other Motor cycle
Rear and front letter and numerals
65
10
10

A few years ago, Govt of India amended rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, mandating introduction of new tamper proof High Security Registration (HSRP) number plates.  Features incorporated include the number plate having a patented chromium hologram, a laser numbering containing the alpha-numeric identification of both the testing agency and manufacturers and a retro-reflective film bearing a verification inscription "India" at a 45-degree inclination. The characters are embossed on the plate for better visibility. The letters "IND" were printed in a light shade of blue on the observers left side under the hologram.

Sadly, that could not be implemented for too long with various state Governments not  appointing an official source for manufacture of these plates, due to many disputes.   On 8 April 2011 the Supreme Court of India summoned the transport secretaries of Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for contempt of court proceedings regarding non enforcement of the high security registration plates.  There have been news that there is one RTO in West Bengal which does issue HSRP.  Now there is more news from Delhi.   First there was news that this would become mandatory in Delhi effective May 2012 but again got delayed as the Govt was still finalizing agencies.  The Supreme Court had directed various states and Union territories to launch the high security registration plate system by April 30 for new vehicles and June 15 for old vehicles.

Happy that a start has been made at Delhi and on the  first day of implementation of the high security registration plates (HSRP) scheme for vehicles in city, only one centre set up for fitting of the number plates was functional.  The Burari centre affixed around 20 registration plates on new vehicles  and the  process for fixing HSRP on existing vehicles will begin on June 15.

Sure there would be mad rush in the initial days and chaos would be the order of the day.   In Delhi, reportedly a  total of 14 such centres  are reported to be set up near regional transport offices and if this happens, could streamline the requirement in a major way.    It is expected that once  that happens, authorisation slips will be generated online and the waiting period will also be reduced. Officials at Mall Road centre said they received 86 applications for fixation of HSRP.  The process as spelt out is that for new buyers of vehicles, a sticker with a registration number will be given by the dealer.

In Delhi, after realizing the dream of purchasing a new vehicle, the owner will have to visit one of the 14 designated transport offices which will be authorised to fix the high security registration plates (HSRPs). These centres will be supplied with blank aluminium plates, with country code and chromium-based hologram of Ashok Chakra embossed on them.  The plate would be  put through embossing machine which engraves vehicle's registration number on it. The Number then  is painted black by rolling black film over it. The process  would take  only a few minutes.  Once the plate is ready, trained employee  would fix the  plate on your vehicle. The new number plates cannot be replaced or tampered with by thieves, the first thing they do after stealing a vehicle. If someone tries to replace it, it will break automatically.

So, the High Security plates would perhaps reduce the thefts and thereby help the Insurers also in maintaining their Motor portfolio, which presently is running with heavy losses

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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