The long-pending proposal for high security registration plates (HSRP) for vehicles in Maharashtra may finally take off this year. These number plates will help prevent vehicle thefts. The state government is planning to appoint an agency to fix these tamper-proof number plates on vehicles.
Chief secretary Jayantkumar Banthia said that they were trying to finalise the terms and conditions and the eligibility criteria before calling for bids. This, he added, would take a month or two.
The HSRP will have safety features like a non-removable snap lock which will protect vehicles from getting stolen, a chromium-base Ashok chakra hologram, ‘INDIA’ etched by a hot stamping foil, a seven-digit unique laser code and a self-destructive windshield sticker.
The Centre has amended the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, to make the HSRP mandatory for motor vehicles. The plan to introduce these new vehicle plates in Maharashtra was mired in litigation with the state finally dropping its plans to include radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as an added feature on these plates.
These number plates will be mandatory for all new and existing vehicles, said a senior transport department official. “We plan to initiate the bidding process and finalise on the vendor this year. The process of preparing tender documents and draft papers is on,” the officer added.
The agency, which will be appointed on the basis of price bidding, will fix the HSRP on all vehicles in the state in front of RTO officials. They plan to cover all vehicles in the state in a span of two years.
Maharashtra had a 194.07 lakh vehicle in 2011-12 which is one of the highest in the country, according to the state transport department records. The number of new vehicles being registered annually in the state has risen from 11.64 lakh in 2007-08 to 19.75 lakh in 2011-12.