PMPML flouts law: Sides of new buses lack number plate

Motor Vehicles Act says transportation vehicles must display licence plate on sides as well, but 170 new buses have registration number at front and back only; PMPML and RTO blame each other for overlooking requirement.

The new city buses funded by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) that have been brought on the roads by the PMPML a few months ago are flouting the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 by putting up the number plate on only two sides of the vehicle. 

Flouting rules: A new PMPML bus without the licence plate on its side

According to the act, it is mandatory for any transportation vehicle, whether it carries passengers or goods, to display the registration number on four sides of the vehicle. The new buses have displayed the registration number only on the front and back of the vehicles. Nearly 170 such buses are currently plying on the roads of the city.

An old bus with its registration number on the side in accordance with 
the law. Pics/Krunal Gosavi 

Sunil Burse, chief engineer of PMPML, admitted the new buses were not following the rule, but blamed the RTO by raising the question: "How come the RTO didn't object at the time of passing our vehicles?" Burse said the design and look of the new buses did not allow them to paint the registration number on the left and right sides of the vehicle. 

"The vehicle has the logo of JNNURM and a colourful strip on both sides. Besides, the buses have a central door system on the right side, therefore there is no place to paint the number on the sides of the buses," he said. He added that no one had so far raised an objection and promised to display the number plates on both sides of the vehicle if necessary. 

Countering the claims of the PMPML authorities, Regional Transport Officer Arun Yewla said the RTO's responsibility was to check whether there was any malfunctioning of the vehicle and once the RTO confirmed that the vehicle was not faulty, after which its sole duty was to submit the registration number to the vehicle owner. 

"We don't keep a watch on whether PMPML is displaying the number plates according to the rules. After all, it is the PMPML's responsibility to exhibit the number plates according to the rules of the Motor Vehicles Act," Yewla said. Yewla also assured action on buses found flouting the rules. "As per Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, we can fine them with Rs 100 for the first offence and Rs 300 for the second or subsequent offences," Yewla said.  

Traffic police view on violation
Police Inspector (Traffic Department) Sanjay Karekar said: "Although we have a right to take action against vehicles that do not display number plates according to the Motor Vehicle Act, I think it's the sole responsibility of the PMPML to follow the rules. Similarly, the RTO should also check vehicles for such violations."

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