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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

After complaints, govt to appoint new firm for fixing high security registration plates

The transport department is likely to issue a show cause notice to the private company,which has been implementing the high security number plates project in the national Capital since its rollout in April, 2012.

delhi Updated: Feb 19, 2018 18:57 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
The Delhi government has started the process of appointing a new concessionaire for manufacturing and fixing High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs) in the city.
The Delhi government has started the process of appointing a new concessionaire for manufacturing and fixing High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs) in the city.(AP)
         

The Delhi government has started the process of appointing a new concessionaire for manufacturing and fixing High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs) in the city.

On Friday, the transport department floated a tender for signing a consultancy firm that would draft a proposal for appointing a new concessionaire. The action comes four years after the Delhi government started receiving complaints regarding delays in fixing the high security plates and allegations of vehicle owners being overcharged for the service. Every year, at least 8 lakh number plates are issued in Delhi.

“Contract with the current concessionaire will be terminated soon. This will not hamper issuance of number plates in Delhi. For now, we have just started the process of getting a new company and floated tenders accordingly,” said Varsha Joshi, commissioner (transport).

The transport department is likely to issue a show cause notice to the private company,which has been implementing the high security number plates project in the national Capital since its rollout in April, 2012.

While the contract was for 15 years, the company and the government have been facing flak over the past four years for various alleged irregularities in the project. Two inquiry reports were submitted to the government in 2014, both of which said that the company had allegedly violated the terms of agreement by procuring HSRPs from Assam and not Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, as was mentioned in the contract.

Besides, it also said that the convenience charges collected by the company from self-registered dealers for providing HSRPs was “over and above the prescribed charges”. Other problems involved not maintaining records of complaints, staff, affixation centres and so on.

A spokesperson for the company denied all the charges by calling it “baseless” and “unsubstantiated”. “We hope that the matter is either settled by the Supreme Court or through the ongoing arbitration proceedings. The manufacturing activities ceased in Assam in November 2013 which is why even the Supreme Court dropped the contempt proceedings owing to ‘passage of time’ when the contempt petition was being heard in 2015,” the official said.

Following the inquiry reports, the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and chief secretary SK Srivastava had initiated the process of termination of contract with the company in March 2014 but officials said the termination got delayed as the company approached court.

“The matter ultimately came to the chief secretary, who last year concluded in the transport department’s favour and asked to go ahead with the termination of the contract,” an official involved in the project said.

The opposition had also regularly criticised the company’s dealing with government by calling it a R 400 crore scam and blaming the Aam Aadmi Party government for not ending the contract with the company.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 18:57 IST