the midst of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, panic and restrictions, the Transport Department of Delhi, in a public
noticed issued on September 22, 2020, warned owners of new and old vehicles registered
in NCT of Delhi to immediately install High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs)
including the third registration mark (colour coded sticker) on their vehicles.
to officials, fines up to Rs 10,000 would be imposed on those who do not adhere
to this. The second offence will invite a penalty of Rs 5000. The Transport
Department warned that it would be soon starting an enforcement drive and in
all probability, it would be four wheelers that would be checked before they move
on to two-wheelers.
Transport Department of Delhi through the public notice advertisement in a
prominent newspaper informed the general public that the installation of High
Security Registration Plate (HSRP) including the third registration mark (colour
coded sticker) on new and old vehicles registered in NCT of Delhi is a
notice stated that Transport Department has authorised the dealers of the OEMs
to affix colour coded sticker and HSRP on all old vehicles. The owners of old
and existing vehicles are advised to approach their concerned dealers (of their
vehicle’s make) for getting affixed both the HSRP including the colour coded
sticker, the department notified. Those who do not affix both these are liable
to be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and CMV Rules, 1989.
list of dealers is available on the department’s website http://transport.delhi.gov.in People in the Capital city of Delhi are
surprised by the timing of this announcement. “Why are they doing it now? We
are so scared to go to any public place and are trying to lead a secure and
safe life. Now the government is asking us to get these new number plates and
stickers installed. It makes no sense,” said Bhagwan Das, a resident of Munirka
in South Delhi, who owns a petrol car which he had bought in 2006 and has one
more year with his car before he has to send it to the scrap yard.
life of a diesel vehicle in Delhi is ten years, while that of a petrol vehicle is
15 years. Thus, anyone who purchased a diesel vehicle in 2010 should be ready
to scrap their vehicle in 2020, while those who purchased a petrol vehicle in
2005 should be ready to scrap their vehicle in 2020. Those who purchased prior to
these years, have anyway no right to ply their vehicles on Delhi road as it is
people hear the constant government message on covid on the mobile phone?” he asked.
Every time you try calling up someone on
your mobile phone, you get to hear a lady’s voice telling you in Hindi "Namaskar.
Coronavirus ya Covid-19 se aaj poora desh lad raha hai (the entire country is
fighting against coronavirus…]". The voice goes on to advise people to
"stay home, stay safe" - not to leave home unless absolutely
necessary, wear a face mask when going out, wash hands frequently with soap and
maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Das pointed out
that on one side the government is telling everybody to stay indoors and be
safe, on the other it is asking people to go and take their cars to a dealer to
fix the new plates and sticker. So what
is this fuss about?
High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs): In order to curb
theft of vehicles, the government since 2012 made it mandatory for all new
vehicles to be sold with the new HSRP. The plate has a uniform pattern of
displaying the vehicle’s registration, which remains identical all over the
HSRP plates are made of aluminum, with unique details other than the
registration number itself. It features a unique (minimum) seven-digit laser code, a
chakra hologram to prevent counterfeiting, a self destructive sticker with
engine and chassis number of the vehicle. The letters “IND” is inscribed in the
color blue. The word ‘INDIA’ is inscribed at a 45 degree angle in hot stamping
foil across all letters and numbers on the plate. The HSRP plates are fixed to
the vehicle with the help of non-removable snap which break if someone tries to
remove it, thus making it unusable. Basically, it is tamperproof.
“I bought a
motorcycle a year or so back and it came with the HSRP. Someone stole my bike a
few months back and it has yet to be recovered. How has this number plate
prevented a theft? I really do not understand,” said Abdul Raheem, a resident
of Jamia Nagar in Delhi.
COLOUR CODED STICKER: This rule became mandatory for Delhi in April
2019. But later the transport department and the Supreme Court wanted these for
all vehicles, even for those registered before 2012. Now with the latest Delhi
Transport Department notice, all vehicles in Delhi need both these with immediate
effect. What are colour-coded stickers?
are around 40 lakh vehicle that would require both these in Delhi NCT. Colour-coded
stickers are meant to identify a vehicle based on their fuel type. Thus, a
light blue sticker would be applicable for Petrol and CNG vehicles, while a
diesel vehicle will come with a orange sticker. This sticker needs to be stuck
on the windscreen of a car.
colour-coded stickers bear details such as the registration number, the
registering authority, a laser-branded PIN, and engine and chassis numbers of
the vehicle and the date on which the vehicle was registered with the
authorities. But what is the use of a
colour coded sticker?
proposal for colour coding was mooted in 2018 by advocate Aparajita Singh, who was
assisting the Supreme Court as amicus curiae in pollution related matters.
During that time Delhi was battling massive pollution and she pleaded that
colour coding would be more effective than ‘even-odd scheme’ in controlling
pollution whenever it reached alarming level as the authorities could identify
polluting vehicles without examining them.
had told the bench then that “It is important to classify fuel according to its
polluting properties. This would help policy-makers and public in identifying
cleaner vehicles. Paris has classified vehicles into six categories based on
fuel and issued colour-coded stickers for identification. Similar colour-coded
stickers can be used to identify vehicles in India and restrict the use of
dirtier vehicles during poor category days. This would be more scientific than
the ‘odd and even scheme’ that is being followed presently.” Thus came in the enforcement of colour code
stickers. But at Motown India, with all
due respect to the courts and government officials, we are not convinced at all
by this argument. You do not need a colour code sticker to identify a polluting
vehicle. You can simply identify any vehicle without even a sticker.
order to curb pollution, the government has in place a pollution checking
mechanism. It is the PUC certificate which is valid for a maximum of one year
for BS IV and BS VI vehicles, while for the remaining vehicles it can be valid
for a maximum of only three months.
COLOUR CODE STICKER WITHOUT COLOUR: While it is a blue sticker for petrol
and CNG, it is orange for diesel. But a scrutiny of new vehicles registered in
2019 and even in some cases in 2020, it has been noticed that while the
vehicles have come with HSRP, they have not come with coloured stickers. In some
cases there is no sticker on the windscreen, while in others we found out colour
people are also under the wrong impression that the company fitted green
coloured sticker which says “Non Polluting Vehicle” is the fuel sticker. It is
not. This is just a simple sticker fixed by the company and its only relevance
is that your vehicle is valid for pollution under check for one year from the
date of registration/ purchase of the vehicle.
that the government is determined to go after all vehicles for HSRPs and colour
coded fuel stickers, it will lead to a lot of stress and pain among old vehicle
owners, especially those whose vehicles will have to be compulsorily scrapped
in the next one to six years. Now coming to scrapping of vehicles, how is it
that the government is not yet ready with a scrappage policy? Should it not be
more proactive here than emphasising on colour coded fuel stickers and HSRPs?