Car-lifters beware. Ranchi is armed to tackle misuse of vehicles.
The district, which boasts the capital of Jharkhand, will be the first to display tamper-proof high-security registration plates (HSRP) from Wednesday.
Unexpected hiccups and hurdles notwithstanding, the transport department some two weeks ago inked a deal with Delhi-based Agros Impex (I) Private Limited for installation of number plates across the state after which a single-window embossing and affixation centre was established at the old district transport office in Kutchery, Ranchi.
The kiosk has been put under the direct control of DTO A.K. Singh in adherence to guidelines and two specialised embossing and affixation machines were installed on Tuesday.
“We are all set to roll from tomorrow,” confirmed Sonu Jaiswal, chief technician of the outsourced agency, which has been entrusted with the task of supervising the registration process and training local technicians.
According to Jaiswal, the HSRPs will have an aluminium coat, a chromium hologram that cannot be faked and a retro-reflective film with “India” inscribed on it at a 45-degree angle. An embedded microchip will contain all information encoded in the registration SMART card now in use.
The registration number will be laser imprinted on the plate, which will also bear the alphanumeric identification marks of the manufacturer and the testing agency. “The plate will be attached to the car with a non-reusable snap lock, which will ensure that it gets damaged if anyone tries to yank it off. This is to prevent theft and duplicity,” Jaiswal explained, adding that the number plates would sport a uniform font across India.
On an average, Ranchi witnesses between 250-300 registrations every day. A rate chart has been drawn up by the transport department depending on the nature and size of vehicles (see box) and circulated to all district transport offices.
Jaiswal said in a week’s time five more embossing and affixation machines would be installed in the capital to ensure a swift job. “Initially, all new vehicles will boast HSRPs. Slowly, once the project picks up steam, we will change number plates of older vehicles too,” he added.
Joint transport commissioner Ram Karan Ram, who is monitoring implementation of the project, said directives had been issued to all the DTOs to facilitate the hired agency’s offices in their respective districts latest by May 31, 2012.
Ram conceded that he was yet to get a status report from any of the 23 other districts. “But, I presume they are on track. In two-three days, few more districts will kick off the new vehicle registration process,” he added.
However, DSP (traffic) in Jamshedpur G.N. Singh suggested that the steel city might see a late launch. “We are targeting June-end. The single-window embossing and affixation centre, when it comes into being, will be housed at the district transport office in Sakchi,” he said.
Dhanbad DTO Sanjay Kumar Sinha, on the other hand, said they hoped to start the new registration process from June 1. “We have received the directive from the transport department and have also facilitated space for the agency’s embossing and affixation kiosk at Bartand,” he added.
“It (the new number plate) will be such a great relief for people like us who own bikes and cars. Of late, there has been a spurt in bike-lifting cases in Ranchi. The tamper-proof registration will help curb crime and we, hopefully, won’t spend sleepless nights again,” said Joydeep Dubey, an employee of Tata Steel, who owns a hatchback and a two-wheeler.
“Besides being super-secure, the new registration plates also have a uniform look. This is really appreciable if you, like me, find fancy number plates to be an eyesore. These old number plates also confuse police and delay detection of crime,” said Ambarish Choudhary, a student of Ranchi University.
Do you think the new number plates will help curb crime?