Although the apex court’s eight-week deadline to the state to begin the tender process for high-security number plates for vehicles in Maharashtra ends on June 28, the government is yet to initiate the process.
The state government may be pulled up by the Supreme Court (SC) for this. Sources in the transport department told HT that the government plans to seek an extension in deadline at the next hearing since it will not be able to initiate the tender process to appoint a vendor by the end of the month.
This is in stark contrast to states such as Delhi which made these number plates mandatory for all vehicles last year.
“We are waiting for the state’s approval to begin the process,” said a senior transport department official on condition of anonymity.
High-security number plates have a number of safety features that will help make vehicles theft proof. Made of a rare alloy of aluminium, these number plates will contain a retro-reflective film, bearing a verification inscription of ‘India’, a chromium-based Ashok Chakra hologram, a hotstamped alphabets IND in blue and a unique seven-digit laserbranded serial number.
The official added that a single agency or vendor will be appointed to install the number plates on all vehicles.
While hearing the case on May 3, the SC had given the state eight weeks to start the tendering process to appoint a vendor.
Officials are now worried that the non-implementation of the directive may call for contempt action.
Unwilling to share details about the plan of action regarding high-security number plates, transport secretary, SK Sharma said, “The state government will take appropriate action.”