According to RTA officials, new vehicles will be prefitted with HRSPs to prevent tampering of registration plates and also to track lost or stolen vehicles. For proper implementation of the rule, dealers will be supplied with HSRPs, including the hologram sticker, with registration details fixed on the wind shield by the vehicle manufacturers themselves.
But the uniform styled HSRPs that are supposed to be tamper-proof and act as a deterrent to thieves may not serve the purpose, even if they are pre-fitted to the vehicle until the quality of the plate if improved. While there are several vehicles plying on city roads with HSRPs, the numbers on most can be seen fading. In some cases the plates are broken or have been removed by miscreants to escape traffic offences.
Somesh Kumar (name changed), a BCom student, who took his newly-registered bike for affixing the number plates at the Khairtabad RTO last month, said that the quality of the number plates fixed outside are much stronger than HSRPs.
“I don’t think this number plate will last for more than a year. I don’t see the point in getting them fixed if they are not tamper-proof. Although HSRP plates cannot be reused, they have a non-removable snap on lock that can be easily removed. I don’t see the purpose of the snap if it can be removed,” said Kumar.
Members of Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Union say that despite dozens of complaints, the contractor has not been notified to improve the quality of these number plates.
“The high security number plates are name sake. They are not tamper proof at all. They are so flimsy that they can easily be removed by a 12-year-old as well. Before coming up with plans for pre-fitting vehicles with new plates, the authorities must improve the quality and also take action against vehicle owners if they are not getting HSRPs fixed as per the mandate. As of now, not even a notice is issued to vehicle owners if HSRP is not fixed,” said M Dayanand, general secretary, Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Union.
Contrary to the arguments of vehicle owners, RTA officials said the ones currently in use cannot be used again even if they are removed and are of better quality compared to the ones found in the market.
“The new order is meant to maintain a uniform pattern of secured number plates in all vehicles. The HSRP number plates cannot be used again once removed. They come with certain features that give better security,” said Sunil Sharma, principal secretary (transport).