KATHMANDU, Feb 18: The government is making embossed registration number plates in private vehicles mandatory from mid-May. The move is aimed at completely replacing the hand-painted vehicle license plates.
Officials said the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has installed the new registration number plates in 6,000 vehicles so far and most of these vehicles belong to the government agencies. The DoTM has targeted to complete the installation of the embossed number plates in all the government-owned vehicles within a month.
The embossed number plates are equipped 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 are also expected to facilitate authorities to instantly rescue vehicle drivers in case of accidents.
With the DoTM provision, the private vehicles, both two wheelers and four wheelers, can start the process to receive the new number plates from March 15. The DoTM has set a target to complete the installation process by mid May. Around 2.5 million vehicles are registered at the DoTM till the date.
The government had started distributing the embossed number plate since August 2017. However, the DoTM has been able to introduce the new number plates in around three percent of the total vehicles across the country so far.
In April 2016, the government had inked an agreement with Decatur Tiger — a US and Bangladesh joint venture company — to print and supply the embossed number plates. As per the pact, Decatur is supposed to instal embossed number plates on 2.5 million vehicles in Nepal within April 2021.
However, the Supreme Court had halted the process immediately after Decatur finished installing the high-tech number plates in just around 5,000 vehicles. After the apex court paved the way, the DoTM resumed the work in December 2019.
With the agreement deadline coming nearer, the DoTM has expedited the work to accomplish its task. The government had inked the deal for US $ 43.78 million with the Bangladeshi company.