The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has started the process to use the Devanagari script on the embossed number plates of vehicles. Currently, Latin script is used on embossed number plates. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has installed embossed number plates on around 40,000 vehicles.
DoTM is also facing criticism for costly fees for the installation of embossed number plates. Given the criticism and linguistic experts questioning the use of Latin script, the ministry has now said it would make the necessary policy decision to use the Devanagari script on the embossed plates.
An embossed number plate is a camera-readable plate that contains a microchip connected to the vehicle’s GPS system. This makes it efficient in terms of maintaining digital records of the vehicles, collecting revenue on time, monitoring vehicles, and controlling vehicle thefts.
MoPIT Spokesperson Bhimarjun Adhikari said that a process has been initiated to keep the name of the country and province in Devanagari script on the embossed plate. He further said that the cost of installing plates will also be reduced.
“We are making a policy decision to keep the name of the country and province in Devanagari script,” said Adhikari. “The ministry is also in discussion with the contractor which has been given the contract of installing embossed number plates.”
According to Adhikari, the ministry has advanced the discussion to reduce the fee for embossed number plates. Currently, the DoTM charges two-wheelers Rs 2,500; three-wheelers (tempos) Rs 2,900; light four-wheelers including cars, jeeps, vans, and tractors Rs 3,200; and heavy vehicles Rs 3,600 for installing embossed number plates.
MoPIT is also preparing to issue the driver’s license within three days of the trial. At present, there are almost 800,000 people waiting for their licenses. The ministry plans to issue them a license within eight months.
After that, the ministry plans to give a smart license within three days of the trial. For that, it is said that smart card printing machines will be installed in the transport management offices of all provinces.
Currently, there is a daily demand for 6,000 licenses across the country, but DoTM has been printing only 4,000 licenses on a daily basis.