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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Protocols not being followed in high security registration plates, transport ministry seeks answers

In a meeting held on October 4, the ministry of road transport and highways sought explanation from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and National Informatics Centre wherein it was told that original equipment manufacturers have not been uploading the inventory.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2019 11:50 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The road transport and highways ministry pulled up automobile manufacturers for not following mandatory protocols of providing high security registration plates details.
The road transport and highways ministry pulled up automobile manufacturers for not following mandatory protocols of providing high security registration plates details.(HT file photo)
         

The ministry of road transport and highways has pulled up automobile manufacturers for not following mandatory protocols of providing high security registration plates (HSRP) details on the central vehicle registration database-- VAHAN.

In a meeting held on October 4, the ministry of road transport and highways sought explanation from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) wherein it was told that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have not been uploading the inventory on HSRP fitment on the VAHAN database. The Centre, in December had made it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to provide high security registration plates (HSRP) in all new vehicles from April, 2019.

HSRP are a new standard in license plates providing added layers of security. They were introduced in 2005 and made mandatory in 2012, although the implementation has been patchy — largely because the onus was either on dealers or customers to source them (from authorised vendors). The move to make the manufacturers responsible could address this problem — at least for new vehicles. The notification said dealers can also provide HSRP for older vehicles, if state governments grant permission.

“Currently, the OEMs dealers provide the details of the new vehicle sold to the HSRP supplier who after embossing etc. provides the physical plates to the dealers and further provides the information of the plates to the dealer mainly through a mobile web portal. The dealer after having fixed the new HSRP to the new vehicles, has the HSRP number details manually fed on VAHAN where there is no lT based system of tracking of HSRP details. This sometimes leads to incorrect entries made in VAHAN,” the minutes of the meeting stated.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the transport ministry reiterated that the responsibility of procuring and supplying was with OEMs only. Their dealers can have them affixed for older vehicles if so directed by the state government. “It was discussed and clarified that the dealers of the particular OEM can supply for their brand as the spirit of the amendment is that the OEM shall be responsible for the security features of the HSRP’ When they supply to different brand not being owned’ then control of security features is lost,” the statement said.

SIAM also cited difficulties in uploading the data as the OEMs had themselves given the contract of HSRPs to HSRP manufacturers who were in turn being tasked with updating the data manually.

“Data entry was being done manually and technically OEMs should be the ones doing it but had put the onus on dealers. Now a decision has been taken that only the suppliers which have been authenticated by the OEMs can upload data on VAHAN through a web interface. They have to specify the details of the suppliers to the respective RTOs,” a senior transport ministry official said.

In the meeting it was decided that on the existing VAHAN system NIC would thus provide the option to enable OEMs to configure its approved HSRP suppliers who would be assigned the state and the RTO by the OEMs and NIC would ensure that only those approved suppliers would be listed.

“Since the process was not linked electronically many errors in the system and registration were happening. When you go to buy a vehicle with its papers the chassis number is put in the VAHAN database and a random number is given. Hence the vehicle chassis number is linked with the vehicle registration number. This is the first process, after this you have to get the same registration HSRP, a notification is sent to the number plate supplier from the dealer. Since this is not linked electronically, by the time the vehicle number would come to the dealer a lot of mismatch was happening. Due to this a large number, nearly 30-40%, of HSRP plates were lying idle. The customers get frustrated and go to a normal mechanics and gets a plate made. This is being observed most in places where internet connectivity is not there,” a senior SIAM official said requesting anonymity.

In the meeting it was also decided that NlC would make necessary changes in the VAHAN system within a month and the OEMs would be provided with the necessary supporting system ready for the implementation.