KOTTAYAM: Kerala is yet to roll out High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP) scheme for vehicles in the state, amid government orders and Supreme Court rulings suggesting the implementation of the project in a time-bound manner. Union government on 2001 issued an order suggesting the implementation of a uniform pattern of displaying vehicle number plates across the country. States and Union Territories (UT) were authorized to issue number plates.
Due to the legal battles between states and number plate traders in various courts in the country, the process was slowed. But Supreme Court on July 2016 slammed the states and UT’s for not rolling out the project and issued guidelines to states to implement it within 31 December 2016. As of now all states in the country except Kerala has initiated the process for implementing HSRP. State Transport Commissioner, S Ananthakrishnan
IPS said that Kerala has not even started the bidding process for selecting a company to manufacture number plates and it will take at least two more years to roll out the scheme in the state.
The objective of HSRP scheme is to curb counterfeiting of vehicle number plates. The characters and numbers on the HSRP are embossed in an aluminium plate which is non-replaceable and tamper-proof. It also includes a patented chromium hologram and a laser numbering which contains the details of
testing agency and manufacturer. A system of Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) tags is also included in the plates to locate vehicles.
Premanandan K, a Regional Transport Officer said that HSRP should be implemented in the state as soon as possible as it will speed up the cases related to vehicle theft. According to him, “About 1000 cases were registered in the state related to vehicle theft last year and HSRP will help in identifying vehicles”.
However, traditional number plate traders here hopes that the project would not be implemented ever in the state citing its security lapses. Surendran, a number plate trader here said that replicas of HSRP can be easily made and it is presently available for sale. “Police should be technically prepared before implementing the scheme. At least they should have the equipment to track vehicles, for example, to locate vehicles through RFI tags in number plates, they should first have RFI readers which bear a high cost of installation”, said Mr. Surendran. If the scheme is implemented it will kill our jobs, he added.