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Maharashtra’s plan for high-security number plates delayed further 

This is the fourth time the state government is attempting to invite bids for the Rs1400-crore project

mumbai Updated: May 24, 2018 12:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
HSRP,High security registration plate,Number plate
License plates are expected to cost around ₹150 for two-wheelers, while for light and heavy motor vehicles, the price would be around ₹200-400.(HT Photo)

Maharashtra’s plans to introduce high-security registration plates (HSRPs) for its nearly three crore vehicles is going to be put on hold as last date for inviting tenders from service providers has been pushed for a second time to June 12 (from the earlier postponed date of May 28).

The state transport department is likely to extend that deadline even further as a high-power committee chaired by the chief secretary of Maharashtra will discuss the possibility of amending some rules on the HSRP draft.

Currently, automobile manufacturers are required to supply HSRPs for vehicles that will be registered at regional transport offices (RTOs) from January 1, 2019. Automobile dealers are required to fix them. The transport commissioner’s office, however, has suggested against including these vehicles from the tender.

The chief secretary, chairing the transport committee on this issue, is expected to take the final call. And since he is currently on leave, according to an officer from the transport department, the deadline for tenders will likely be pushed even further.

The transport department has stated the HSRP project will be implemented on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model — one where the private enterprise receives a concession from the government to finance, design, construct, own and operate the project (in this case, the HSRPs).

Another officer, requesting anonymity, said that this delay will enable more clarity because the union government is yet to finalise rules for fitting HSRPs on new vehicles.

This is the fourth time that the Maharashtra government is attempting to invite bids for the ₹1400-crore HSRP project. Earlier, legal battles forced the cancellation of the first two bids put forth in 2007 and 2013. In 2014, the bidding process was canceled after the Centre proposed a new road transport and safety bill.

The HSRP — which will be made of a rare aluminum alloy and contain a retro-reflective hologram, a hologram, hot-stamped lettering, a 10-digit unique serial number — that will be fitted with a snap lock, is expected to be a tamper-proof license plate that helps curb vehicle theft.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MORTH) guidelines say that HSRPs should be installed only through an authorised vendor.

License plates are expected to cost around ₹150 for two-wheelers, while for light and heavy motor vehicles, the price would be around ₹200-400.

In March 2017, Maharashtra government had set up a 10-member scrutiny committee, led by the additional chief secretary (planning), to issue tenders for the plates.

In 2016, the Supreme Court had directed to appoint a single agency for the installation of HSRPs, restricted outsourcing of plate manufacturing and added they should all be made at one location alone. Further, it had asked to form a team of officials and experts for keeping control on the entire process.

First Published: May 24, 2018 12:02 IST