Like all the other government departments and offices, the transport department in India too is legendary in delaying the implementation of court orders. The Supreme Court of India, on May 8, 2008 had passed a ruling, asking all the states to implement High Security registration Plates (HSRPs). However, as you would imagine, nothing ever happened. Now the Supreme court has slapped contempt of court notices to the transport secretaries of Delhi, UP and Punjab for non-compliance.
What this means is, that these states will now have to implement the HSRPs as soon as possible. The ruling doesn’t limit itself to only the above specified states though, as the original ruling was passed to be implemented in all states across the country. All the other states will also have to fall in line, or the respective transport secretaries will be charged with contempt.
The states which initiated the implementation of HSRPs will have to complete the process in 6 weeks. India has close to 9 crore vehicles on its roads, which includes about 6.5 crore two wheelers. These high tech number plates cost anywhere between Rs 500 to 1000 according to a leading daily. However, our own research suggests that some of the leading manufacturers can make them available for anywhere between Rs 200 to Rs 500, based on the size of the plate. The price for the plates for two-wheelers is naturally lower than the price for the plates for four-wheelers.
So what exactly is HSRP?
The Government of India, in June 2005 had amended rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, mandating introduction of new tamper proof High Security Registration (HSRP) number plates. All new motorised road vehicles that came into the market after that needed to adhere to the new plates, while existing vehicles had been given two years to comply. Features incorporated include the number plate having a patented chromium hologram, a laser numbering containing the alpha-numeric identification of both the testing agency and manufacturers and a retro-reflective film bearing a verification inscription “India” at a 45-degree inclination. The characters are embossed on the plate for better visibility. The letters “IND” were printed in a light shade of blue on the observers left side under the hologram.