One year and counting, the vendor appointed by the Chandigarh administration for affixing high-security number plates (HSRP) on vehicles has failed to start online application and fee payment facility. The Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) has remained a mute spectator depite the online facility being part of the contract signed with the vendor, Real Mazon India Limited. In all this, the queues for HSRPs keep getting longer.
In the contract signed between the UT administration and Real Mazon India Limited on December 26, 2012, the contractor was supposed to provide a centralised "online data management system", and it was to have the provision whereby vehicles owners could make online registration for new HSRPs and get e-receipts after paying the fee online too. After completing these steps, all the owners would have had to do was to go and get the plates affixed on the appointed date.
These terms, however, stand violated as the vendor, who began work in March last year, started no such system. When contacted, the local head of the company, Satish Chandra, said, "This (online) process was difficult to introduce because of security issues. The facility requires access to government system." Formally, the clause remains and clearly mentions that the contractor is responsible for introducing online facility.
"This system is very important as it can save the residents from waiting for hours in queues and further hasten the entire HSRP affixation process, which, as per the Supreme Court orders, has to be finished within two years," said activist-advocate Ajay Jagga.
"Non-implementation of the system means the contractor is saving a lot of money by not providing the necessary infrastructure, and is rather using government set-up."
City resident Sameer Kumar said it took him two days to submit the fee for HSRP "which could have been avoided had there been the online facility in place". RLA incharge Kashish Mittal could not be contacted despite repeated calls.
The contract even says that the system's data centre and servers should be located at sites identified by the authority, and that on completion of the agreement, or after premature termination, the contractor will pass on the infrastructure, the source code and entire data to the authority at zero cost without retaining any data with itself.