A little over a year ago, the state transport department introduced vehicle number portability after contemplating the idea since 2009. While vehicle owners considered it a convenient idea to transfer their registration number on their number plates to a different vehicle, the Transport Ministry at the Centre looks at it as a security risk and plans to scrap the scheme soon.
The decision comes as the State Transport Department is receiving flak from the Transport Ministry at the Centre. Officials from the State Transport Department claim that during recent meetings at Delhi with the Union Road Transport Ministry, it was pointed out that the scheme imbalances the whole vehicle numbering process but also poses a security threat. “It was pointed out that the sanctity and process of registering a vehicle and giving a particular number plate to it will be lost due to this Vehicle Number Portability Scheme,” said a senior transport department official.
The transport department officials claimed that the Union Ministry objected to the fact that it would hamper the whole process of registering vehicles and their numbers; wherein over 1.2 crore vehicles are registered everyday across the country. They also claim that in worse cases a vehicle number portability might pose a problem if the vehicle is used for some anti-social activity. Generally when a vehicle is registered at any Regional Transport Office (RTO) across the state, officials tend to issue a number plate as per the serial code being followed by them. With the help of the number portability scheme, vehicle owners after selling or dumping their old vehicle could have easily retained their old number on their new vehicle.
Apart from this the authorities with the RTO in Mumbai claim that there hasn’t been much demand for this Vehicle Number Portability Scheme until now. “We have received less than 10 requests from vehicle owners to transfer their old numbers to their new vehicle,” said a RTO official, on condition of anonymity. Presently as per the scheme, the vehicle owner has to pay the same amount he had paid while obtaining a number as premium for utilising this facility. Apart from this, special numbers have extra charges levied that cost upto Rs 1 lakh or more.