As HSRP-shift deadline looms, Karnataka car owners grope in the dark
Vehicle owners point out that the government has not mentioned the online portal authorized by the OEMs and they have no way to figure out which is genuine
The Karnataka government may have issued a diktat that all vehicles registered before April 1, 2019, must get High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs) by November 17, but it has angered vehicle owners, local number plate manufacturers, and affixing stores alike.
While vehicle owners are miffed with the short three-month deadline and the lack of clarity regarding the process of installing the HSRPs, the number plate manufacturers are unhappy with the transport department for awarding contracts to a few select private firms, effectively excluding them from the huge business this change will bring.
What the government has said
The Karnataka government on August 17 issued the notification that if vehicles registered before April 1, 2019, do not an HSRP installed by November 17, owners will face penalty ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
Only vehicle manufacturers — OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) — and their dealers have been authorized to supply the HSRPs and fit vehicles with those. Vehicle owners can book their HSRPs on an online portal authorized by the OEMs and pay for those on the site as well. The fitting of vehicles with the HSRPs can be done at the home or workplace of the owners if they so wish.
Sounds simple enough. But vehicle owners, who have already tried to get the job done, point out several glitches in the system.
Why vehicle owners are miffed
First, many are taken aback by the three-month deadline considering that, by the government’s own admission, Karnataka has over 1.7 crore vehicles registered before April 1, 2019. That would essentially imply 1.9 lakh HSRPs being installed daily across the state. May wonder whether those limited number of suppliers can even provide that huge count of HSRPs. They believe the deadline should be relaxed.
Second, vehicle owners point out that the government has not mentioned the online portal authorized by the OEMs and they have no way to figure out which is genuine. Online searches are showing up several vendors and they have no way of verifying their authenticity.
One person told The Times of India that he tried to book an HSRP by visiting a manufacturer’s site. His details were validated but once he tried to select a dealer, he could not proceed any further. However, according to a Bangalore Mirror report, the unified web portal for ordering HSRPs and selecting dealers in siam.in.
Third, many vehicle owners complain that they have already been duped with fake HSRPs by local vendors and dealers.
But, how would you know which is a genuine HSRP? Here are some unique features of HSRPs that help them prevent counterfeiting or tampering.
Unique features of High Security Registration Plates or HSRPs
HSRPs are made of aluminium with a 20mmX20mm chromium-based Ashok Chakra hologram hot-stamped on the top-left corner.
On the bottom-left corner, a 10-digit permanent identification number (PIN) is lasered into the reflective sheeting to protect the plate against counterfeiting.
The plate is fitted to the vehicle using two non-reusable locks.
The HSRP is then linked to the vehicle electronically. The authorised dealer or manufacturer must also update the laser coding on the Vahan portal.
According to a Times Now report, an HSRP for a four-wheeler may cost around Rs 400-500, while one for a two-wheeler is priced around Rs 250-300.
So, why are number plate manufacturers and affixing stores unhappy?
They believe the government has jeopardised their livelihood by authorising a select few dealers to manufacture and affix the plates.
The HSRPs are reportedly being manufactured in Kolkata, Delhi, and Mumbai and supplied to the state. According to local dealers, this oligopoly will lead to unfair pricing.HSRPs have already come into effect in 12 states. Vehicles without registration certificates, fitness certificates (for transport vehicles), or those with overdue road tax will not be eligible for HSRP installation.