Despite rules, vehicles in Mumbai being sold without high-security plates | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Despite rules, vehicles in Mumbai being sold without high-security plates

By, Mumbai
Oct 08, 2019 12:26 AM IST

Several vehicle dealers in Mumbai are flouting the Centre’s rule and handing over newly-registered vehicles to their buyers without the high-security registration plates (HSRP). However, the transport department has turned a blind eye to the issue as RTO officers continue to certify the vehicle before allowing to run on roads.

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Despite repeated attempts, transport commissioner Shekhar Channe did not respond to queries. However, some RTO officials said that there is a need for public awareness, apart from imposing hefty fines for the dealers and vehicle owners so that the HSRP rule is not violated.

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“There is no provision of compounding fees, but the RTO can take action on the trade certificate of the vehicle dealers for flouting the HSRP rule,” a motor vehicle inspector, who did not wish to be named, said.

Made of a rare aluminium alloy, HSRP contains a retro-reflective film with a verification inscription ‘India’, chromium-based Ashok Chakra hologram, hot-stamped letter IND in blue, and a 10-digit unique serial number, making it tamper-proof.

The Union government made HSRP mandatory for all the vehicles registered in the country from April onwards. These number plates have certain security features, which are meant to put brakes on vehicle thefts. As per the rule, the onus of fitting the HSRP on the vehicles lies on manufactures. It is also mandatory for vehicle dealers, through whom manufacturers sell their vehicles, to upload the serial number of the HSRP fitted on the vehicle on the VAHAN portal, which stores data of vehicles across the country .

However, dealers in the city are handing over the vehicles by fixing conventional number plates on them. “We didn’t know about the number plate rule. We just undertake the delivery of the vehicles on which the conventional number plates were fitted,” said a vehicle owner, who did not wish to be named.

Even the recently-hired e-buses and mini-buses in the fleet of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) also continue to sport conventional number plates. The first lot of e-buses were registered at Tardeo RTO on August 27, while the mini AC buses were registered on September 24, 2019.

Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) are saying that the whole purpose of fitting the HSRP to the vehicle is being compromised. The motor vehicle officer said that some dealers of high-end cars and bikes are rampantly flouting the HSPR rule.

According to RTO officials, as the rule came into existence six months ago, the dealers should have overcome the hurdles in setting-up of a mechanism to hand over the vehicles to the customers with the new number plates.

Amending the norms on HSRP, the central government also allowed the installation of the new number plates in the premises of the dealers instead of the RTO offices. The state transport commissioner too has sent a proposal to the Maharashtra government to permit the installation of HSRP on the vehicles registered before April 2019 at the dealers premises.

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    Kailash works with the political team and has been covering transport beat for over a decade. He is interested in travel and music.

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