WITH THE Chandigarh transport department failing to hire a firm for affixation of high security registration plates (HSRP), the pendency of registration plates has mounted to over 50,000. The UT Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) on Saturday rolled out a new registration series: CH0I-BK. With this, the pendency is likely to cross 60,000 mark by the end of this month. HSRP number plates have not been affixed in CH01-BG, CH01-BH and CH01-BJ series. HSRP number plates are also pending in old series starting from CH03-N series.
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The contract of the previous company expired in July, following which affixation of HSRPs was stopped on July 13. However, even after a lapse of more than four months, the transport department has failed to find a replacement.
After the expiry of contract of the previous company, the transport department had thrice floated tenders, and only one company came forward, which proposed a hike of over 100 per cent on the existing rates. The department held several rounds of meeting with the firm and also formed a committee, but failed to convince it to reduce the rates. After failing to break the deadlock, the transport department cancelled the tender. The firm had quoted Rs 158 for a two-wheeler and Rs 366 for a four-wheeler. Since February, 2013 — when the HSRP scheme was implemented in Chandigarh — the rate for a two-wheeler has been Rs 79 and for a two-wheeler, Rs 183.
UT director (transport) Amit Talwar claims they will float a tender for hiring a new firm shortly. “So far, we have
not been able to find a firm despite putting in best efforts,” he said. Talwar maintains it will take them around four months’ time to clear the backlog. “We will set up more counters for clearing the backlog. The pervious firm was operating only three counters,” he added.
The department has decided to give contract for a period of five years with an option of two-year extension. “The longer term of contract will enable the firm to recover investment,” said Talwar.
Federation of Sector Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu asserts that the administration should hire a new firm at the earliest. “The growing pendency will later cause harassment to residents,” he said.