“Give me Rs. 200 and I would get your High Security Number Plate (HSNP) fitted in no time.” This is what one would be asked by the ‘agents’ when one goes to get the number plate installed at Regional Transport Office, Bhopal.
The state government has awarded the contract to fit HSNP to one Messrs Link Utsav Auto System (MLUAS).
A motorcycle owner, Imad Zaidi, 30, said he was asked to give Rs. 200 by an unknown person to get his HSNP fixed in no time. This is the routine practice here. “Anytime you come to RTO office someone or other would ask you for money to fit the plate,” he added.
A farmer from Khandwa, S u k h ra m D h a n d ga r, 3 0, recently purchased a motorcycle from Bhopal. He was at the RTO office, Bhopal to get a HSNP fitted in his motorcycle. Talking to the Hindustan Times, Dhandgar complained that MLUAS had issued him a coupon against on January 11 but did not get the number fitted in his vehicle till date.
Dhandgar said had he given some money to some agents the plate would have been fitted by now.
Talking to the HT, regional transport officer ML Soni said MLUAS is unequipped and inefficient to manage the workload as the work regarding fitting of number plates on more than 4,000 vehicles is pending.
He further said the pendency would be persistent if MLUAS didn’t increase the number of workers and the number of plate making machines.
A 24-year- old sales executive was arguing with MLUAS staff. When asked about the reason behind the argument executive said he got the coupon of HSNP on January 24 but still waiting for the plate to be installed in his motorcycle.
Call centre official Wilson Raju said he took time off from the office to get the plate fitted but things looked different due to a technical snag in the machine. It seemed that the agency doesn’t have enough HSNP making machine, he added.
When asked about the reason behind the delay in the work, MLUAS’ zonal manager, Manmeet Bagga, said many of the vehicle owners are unaware about the HSNP system. Actually the root cause behind the problem is mismanagement in the government system as they are unable to educate people about the benefits of the plate.
However, the two companies engaged in the work of number plates - MLUAS in the installation of HSNP and Smart Chip for providing the registration cards to vehicle owners- are blaming each other.
MLUAS claims that they are doing their work in time and if there is any delay in issuance of the registration card they were not to be blamed. Whereas, the Smart Chip’s claim is that they are not getting the ‘closing’ on time, hence the delay in issuance of the registration card.
Vijay Katariya, a 23-yearold chemist, was complaining to the RTO that he didn’t get his car’s registration card even after eight months fitting HSNP in his car.
He came to RTO office for at least eight to 10 times to resolve this problem but nothing materialised.
Soni said their work is to facilitate the work of the number plate through the private agencies but his office is not empowered to take legal action against them.