Will embossed number plates be installed to 2,400,000 vehicles within two years?

Published On: January 28, 2024 03:20 PM NPT By: Himal Lamsal

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: With the failure of the plan to install embossed number plates to vehicles as per the contract agreement, the government has extended the contract with the contractor company by two years. In order to install embossed number plates in the initial phase, an agreement was signed between the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) and Decatur Tiger IT of Bangladesh on May 30, 2016 to install embossed number plates to 2,500,000 vehicles within five years, i.e. by November 27, 2023.

According to the contract agreement, as the installation of embossed number plates on the vehicles has not progressed effectively, the deadline has been extended up to November 26, 2025. Uddhav Prasad Rijal, Director General of DOTM, said that only 78,000 embossed number plates have been installed so far.According to the initial contract agreement, embossed number plates were to be installed to 2,200,000 vehicles within five years. Even though 412,318 embossed number plates have been produced, the installation work has not progressed at a relatively fast pace.

Earlier, there was a controversy as the DOTM had not prepared the necessary technology and equipment for the use of embossed number plates and infrastructure such as data center, control room, satellite connection, RFID sticker, readable device, tower etc. So, the DoTM has now acknowledged it and has given attention to the construction of necessary infrastructure.

The DoTM has announced a plan to build 'RFID stations' at 10 locations in Kathmandu Valley including Thankot, Pharping, Jagati, Jorpati and Nagarjuna and five main locations outside the valley for vehicle monitoring and inspection. Director General of the DoTM Rijal said that out of 10 RFID gates, four gates are under construction.

"Currently, we have received 100 RFID devices," he said. "Once the gate is ready, it will be easier to regulate transportation as well."

According to a notice published in the gazette by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) on November 8, 2021, embossed number plates must be installed to new vehicles registered from November 11, 2021.

In the first phase, the government had arranged that embossed number plates should be compulsorily installed to public vehicles, tourist vehicles, private vehicles, government and institute registered vehicles in Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces.

For the second time, the DoTM had issued a notice that embossed number plates must be installed to renewed vehicles from May 15, 2022. However, this directive also could not be implemented effectively.

How much is the installation fee?

The DoTM has set a fee of Rs 2,500 for installing embossed number plates on two-wheelers, Rs 2,900 on three-wheelers, Rs 3,200 on small four-wheelers and Rs 3,600 on large vehicles. Director General Rijal claims that the vehicles are going to be installed with embossed number plates to make them technology-friendly and prevent them from being stolen.

"Having fewer incidents of vehicle theft and being able to conduct crime investigations based on RFID gate records will be possible," he said. "Now, with uniformity by removing diversity in vehicle number plates, it will be easier to identify and regulate the condition of vehicles."

According to the DoTM, increasing theft of vehicles, fraudulent entry will be stopped, vehicle record system data system will also be strengthened.

What is an embossed number plate?

Embossed number plates are equipped with a specific type of security number and GPS. Information about the status of the vehicle can be obtained through the embossed number. Vehicle information can be obtained using a radio frequency identification device. This number plate cannot be used more than once.

Embossed numbers are used in many countries around the world. On May 30, 2016, an agreement was reached between the Department of Transportation and the contractor company Decatur Tiger IT to install embossed number plates on the 'Boot Model' on a regional basis. In the contract, it was written that the government should pay US$ 48.7 million to the contractor for installing embossed number plates on 2,500,000 vehicles within five years.

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