New vehicle owners would have to do with “paper plates” for some time with the waiting list for high security registration plates (HSRPs) soaring.
“There has been a backlog of 2,200 vehicles, which are pending for installation of HSRPs in the state. The issuance of HSRPs to new vehicles has been temporarily suspended on the directive of the transport department secretary because of such a backlog. The process of clearing of backlog is under the direct supervision of the secretary and new vehicles would be issued HSRPs only on his instructions,” said Patna district transport officer Dinesh Kumar Rai.
Several vehicles — even those bought around a month ago — were seen plying in the city with handwritten, and in some cases printed, papers with registration numbers affixed to their windshields.
The HSRP system envisages issuance of an authorisation letter at the time of the purchase of the vehicle. A purchaser is expected to submit the authorisation letter to the district transport office and pay the corresponding fees, after which they are issued the corresponding challan. The challan contains the date and time at which the owner should take the vehicle to the HSRP affixation station and get the HSRP affixed. “The issuance of challans for affixation of HSRP in new vehicles was stopped after it was observed that the number of challans issued was much less than authorisation letters issued by the DTOs,” said a senior transport department official.
Automobile dealers in the city have claimed that though the HSRP system has paralysed, vehicle registration numbers are still being issued to purchasers. “The process of issuing registration number is entirely different from the affixation of the HSRP. Registration numbers are still being issued by the DTO office and we are allotting the same to the vehicle owners. But since the issuance of HSRP has been temporarily suspended and ordinary numbers plates are not allowed anymore, new vehicle owners are left with no option but to get the number printed on a paper and paste it on the windscreens,” said Narendra Kumar, the director (plan) of Alankar Auto Sales and Services Private Limited.
M/s Utsav Safety System (P) Ltd, the agency responsible for supply and installation of HSRPs, claimed that the required number of HSRPs for clearing the backlog is ready. “We have the HSRPs ready with us but the awaiting vehicle owners are not coming to the affixation centres to get the plates affixed. We are in talks with the department on this issue and advertisements will be issued in two-three days to persuade people to get their vehicles affixed with HSRP, so that the backlog can be cleared quickly,” said a senior executive of M/s Utsav Safety System (P) Ltd.
The state transport department on May 31, 2012, entered into an MoUwith M/s Utsav Safety System (P) Ltd for supplying and affixing HSRPs.