Nearly two months on and still counting, vendor M/s Real Mazon India Ltd appointed by the Chandigarh administration to affix High Security Registration Plates (HSRP), has failed to open new HSRP centres in the city.
Talking to HT, Satish Chandra, local head of the company, claimed that the company was not legally bound to open new centres and was making efforts to find new locations, out of the scope of the contract, just to help the administration. "New centres would take some time since we are still unable to find low-rented locations," he added.
His claims, however, do not fully corroborate with the provisions of the contract signed between M/s Real Mazon India Ltd and
Chandigarh administration on December 26, 2012.
The contract states that the vendor is bound to put up its pre-fabricated infrastructure in the premises of registration and licensing authority's (RLA's) or deemed RLA's for the purpose of affixing HSRP.
The vendor is of the view that, according to the contract, it is legally bound to operate only in RLA head office in Sector 17, besides sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) South office in Sector 42 and SDM East office in Industrial area, both declared as deemed RLAs by the Chandigarh administration.
However, city's legal luminaries differ with the vendor's stand.
City-based advocate Ajay Jagga said Chandigarh administration had the power to declare any building as deemed RLA, considering the load of the work.
"In the past too, the administration has made Sampark centers as the extension of the excise and taxation department for the collections of returns and taxes. On the issue of HSRP, however, the administration has failed to notify other places as deemed RLAs so far, thereby giving a space to the vendor to do away with its legal responsibilities. The delay questions the intention of the authorities concerned," he said
Local RTI activist RK Garg said Chandigarh administration must notify e-Sampark centres as deemed RLAs and then legally put pressure on the vendor to set up its infrastructure there. Affixation centres could be opened up in four-five central locations to further ease the pressure, he said, adding that people were willingly coming forward to affix HSRP plates, but the existing three centres were insufficient to handle the rush of residents. "In such a condition, challaning residents without HSRP is arbitrary and should be banned," he further said.
Local traffic police records say more than 1,200 people without HSRPs have been challaned with a fine of `3000. Sector-35 resident Surinder Singh Maken said the residents could not be taken for a ride for the delay on the part of the RLA officials and the vendor. "The vendor seems more worried about his profit, than the inconvenience of the residents," he added.