KATHMANDU: The government has decided to make embossed number plates mandatory on all vehicles. Accordingly, it has started converting the ordinary number plates into embossed ones.
All newly registered vehicles must have an embossed number plate from now onwards.
The Department of Transportation Management has stated that all old vehicles should also get their numbers substituted with the embossed number plates.
“We will formally announce the provisions issuing a public notice soon,” Ram Chandra Poudel, a Director at the Department told Khabarhub.
The embossed number plates have been made mandatory to prevent vehicle theft, revenue fraud and other criminal activities and to modernize vehicle management, Poudel said.
An agreement was reached between the Department and Indian company Decatur (Tiger IT the Corporation) for the supply and printing of embossed number plates for 4.90 billion in 2073.
Then, it was said that the installation of the embossed number would be started on September 20, 2017.
However, the work was halted after a case was filed in the Supreme Court demanding that the number plate should be in Devanagari script.
The writ was revoked by the Supreme Court last April, almost 22 months after it was filed.
The Department has resumed the work on the embossed number after it received the full text of the SC verdict last July.
There is the international practice of publishing the embossed number in English.
“Even though the SC verdict has opened the way for the installation of embossed number plates, people do not seem much enthusiastic about it,” Director Poudel said, ” However, the number of people willing to get embossed number will surely increase as it is made mandatory now.”
Although the government had made the plan to get the number plates of all government-owned vehicles changed by February, the task is still incomplete.
Why embossed number plate?
While preparing the embossed number plate, the number is placed on the metal plate by punching so that it is visible on the outside.
In other words, it involves embossing of the metal plates with raised lettering and numbering unlike the traditional license plates in vehicles, which are handwritten. Embossed numbers cannot be scratched or erased easily and last for more than 10 years.
A seven-digit ‘chip’ with a secret number is attached to the plate. The chip records the information about the chassis number, registration number, engine number and other mandatory details.
The chip reading gate is constructed on the road. All the details of the vehicle passing through such gate are automatically registered. Such details can be watched by the police from their office.
According to the new arrangement, at the beginning of the upper line of both front and rear number plates, there is a state indication of the vehicle registration office and then a number indicating the serial number of the transport management office within that state.
Embossed number mandatory in all new vehicles
Poudel informed that all vehicles to be registered in Bagmati Province should use the embossed number plate mandatorily.
“The date is not fixed yet, we will publish the notice soon,” Director Poudel told Khabarhub, adding, “Gradually, the rule will be enforced in other provinces as well. It will be mandatory in all provinces.”
Fee ranges from Rs 2500 to 3600
The government has fixed a charge for getting an embossed number plate according to the nature of the vehicle.
The charge for motorcycles and scooters is Rs 2500 whereas the three-wheelers and four-wheelers have to pay Rs 3200 and Rs 3600 respectively.
In case the embossed plate is not installed
The Transport Management Act 1997 hails that a person driving a vehicle with a different number or plate other than the real one will be imprisoned for six months or fined Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000.
“Once it is made mandatory, the Department will monitor and give suggestions.” Even after that, if the embossed number plate is not connected, the process of action will also start,” Poudel said ahead.
5500 vehicles using embossed plates so far
The DoTM record shows that there are 3.591 million vehicles registered across the country. The number of motorcycles is 2.81 million.
Of them, only 5,351 vehicles have so far installed the embossed number plates. Most of these vehicles are small and medium four-wheelers.
The record shows that 17 large vehicles, 5062 small and medium-sized four-wheelers and 272 two-wheelers have got the embossed number plate.