A two-wheeler flaunts the applied-for tag in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The transport department is striving hard to become people-friendly.
If everything goes according to plan, it will soon start issuing permanent registration to vehicles within a week instead of the month and more it currently takes. The good news, however, comes with a rider; owners may have to be physically present during registration, a move primarily aimed at taming touts.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Thursday, transport secretary Sajal Chakraborty said things were at an initial stage, but modalities were being worked out. “Besides making registration hassle-free, this will also address the problem of unscrupulous middlemen and curb the trend of going A/F on number plates for an unlimited period of time,” he added.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court mandated high-security registration plate is an answer to registration fraud, but in Jharkhand, the project remains caught in legal tangle since 2012.
A rift between the transport department and its private agency had prompted the latter to file a suit in high court explaining its unceremonious exit.
Chakraborty said the one-week rule was decided upon at a meeting a couple of days ago. Officials were asked to act on the plan from Thursday.
“At present, you get a temporary registration from the district transport office for a month. An A/F (applied for) tag is pasted on your car. Within the said period, you have to get a permanent registration. But, there have been numerous cases where people flaunt A/F on number plate for months. We want to do away with the practice. The fresh exercise is for people’s convenience,” he said.
Recent inspections show some cars with the A/F tag are as old as three years.
“Provisions for fines are there, but many get away by bribing when caught or come up with excuses such as the dealer was at fault for the delay. More importantly, A/F vehicles can be potentially used for crimes inside and outside the state. So, sooner we issue permanent registrations, the better it is for everyone,” said another transport official.
Chakraborty highlighted another problem of an illegally extended temporary registration.
“Touts, who promise hassle-free registration, often keep delaying the process to extort money. For instance, if the registration charge is Rs 200, they end up taking almost three times that amount. All we want is foolproof permanent registrations. We are working out details like requesting presence of owners during registration,” he said.
Ranchi district transport officer Rajesh Kumar said that they would try to provide permanent registrations within a week.
“The current rule makes registration of cars mandatory within a month. If the time is shortened to a week, it will be done in a week. Delay happens only in cases where papers are not in order.”
He explained the process. “After buying a vehicle, one has to submit the invoice and fill an application form. In a day, we issue temporary registration. For permanent registration, one has to submit address proof (for two-wheelers) or PAN card (for four-wheelers), Form 20, two passport-size photographs and purchase documents within 30 days.”
But, in Jharkhand, where people swear by power, it is difficult for dealers to make customers show rule or reason.
Will quick registration do away with touts?