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Distribution of embossed licence plates begins

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- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 21, 2017-The government will start replacing hand-painted vehicle licence plates, which are in use for more than century, with embossed registration number plates from Monday.

The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) will install the embossed number plates in vehicles owned by the government in the first phase.

“Based on the results of the pilot project, we will install embossed number plates in other vehicles,” DoTM Spokesperson Tok Raj Pandey said.

Government agencies own an estimated 40,000 vehicles. According to Pandey, the department is planning to install embossed number plates in 500,000 automobiles in the next five years.

The embossed number plates come with a microchip that enables the government to maintain uniformity in issuance of number plates and prevent duplication. Similarly, the new number plates also help authorities to maintain digital records of vehicles plying on the roads, collect revenue on time and control auto theft.

The embossed number plates to be installed in automobiles are divided into five categories. First type of embossed number plate is for vehicles used by the President. Second type of embossed number plate is for vehicles used by government agencies. There is also different embossed number plate for vehicles used by diplomatic agencies. Different embossed number plates have also been designed for commercial and private vehicles. These new number plates appear shiny and can be traced from a distance.

According to the DoTM, microchips installed in the embossed number plates help track the whereabouts of automobiles. “For the purpose, the department is all set to install Radio Frequency Identification Centres in five main gateways of the Kathmandu Valley,” Pandey said. “Similar number of the centres will also be set up in locations outside the valley.”

The embossed number plates also facilitate authorities to instantly rescue vehicle drivers in case of accidents. Pandey said the department had awarded the contract to manufacture the number plates to Tiger IT, a joint venture between the US- and Bangladesh-based IT companies.

As per the DoTM, individuals can apply online to receive embossed number plates for their vehicles. The owners of heavy four-wheelers need to spend Rs3,600 to fetch the number plates. Similarly, car owners can purchase these license plates for Rs3,200, while owners of auto rickshaw and other three-wheelers will have to pay Rs2,900 to get the embossed number plates. Owners of two-wheelers, meanwhile, have to pay Rs2,500 to get these number plates.

The plan to launch embossed number plates was included in the Three-Year Interim Plan 2007-10, but it was put in the backburner due to a number of reasons like delays in conducting a proper study to roll out the project.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had also intervened in the project following a complaint regarding irregularities in 2010. The project remained in limbo for almost a decade before a private firm was hired to import necessary equipment.

Published: 21-08-2017 09:00

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