Gangtok,October09: Almost six years after the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways notified the introduction of High Security Registration Number Plates (HSRNP)—touted as one of the best anti-theft systems for vehicles—the ambitious plan finally took off after directive of Supreme Court and Government of Sikkim issued a notificatio on 11th December 2008 making HSRNP mandatory for all vehicles in Sikkim. The Motor Vehicle department started implementing order since March 2009 as per latest details only 1700 vehicles out of approximately 3000 registered vehicles by department in Sikkim.There hasbeen only 1 local taxi ,1 Main Line jeep and 2 buses in state which have opted for these plates.
All new vehicles in the country will have to come equipped with these sophisticated number plates, while in-use vehicles will have to replace their current plates with HSRNPs within two years, said a senior official from the Ministry. It is believed that the measure will help keep a check on vehicle thefts and will allow authorities to track stolen vehicles.
The tamper-proof number plates are estimated to cost about Rs 2,500 per vehicle and cannot be easily removed and replaced.
The HSRNP concept dates back to 1997 when the Standing Technical Committee of Central Motor Vehicles Rules recommended that they be instated by 1999. Before doing so, the Committee studied the prevalent security features on number plates in different countries. The Ministry also engaged several agencies to shortlist vendors to manufacture these number plates and notified the scheme in 2001.