Poor public response has prompted the State government to extend the deadline to change existing vehicle registration number plates to High-Security Number Plates (HSRP).
According to orders issued by the transport department, the deadline for people to change their number plates is February 17, 2004. The earlier deadline was September 17, 2023. Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy told The New Indian Express that so far, only 3 percent of the state’s population has changed their number plates.
This is because the State government and department have not been insisting on it, due to an ongoing case. He added, “Now we will be insisting on it as the Central government is also pressuring us. It is being strictly enforced across India, except in Karnataka.”
According to Sudhir Goyal, executive member and spokesperson of the Association of Registration Plates Manufacturers of India, of the over 2 crore vehicle owners in the state, only 2.5 lakh people in Karnataka have changed their number plates, because awareness from the state government and transport officials on this is lacking.
Citing the example of Odisha, he said in six months, 58 lakh people changed their number plates because of aggressive awareness campaigns. Similar is the case with Uttar Pradesh, where it has been noted that each time the government would create awareness drives, registrations would increase, but would also come down when the campaign reduced.
He explained that after an online application is made, slots for HSRP are given after 3-4 days because it takes so many days to process the application and make the number plates. Since people are getting their slots on the fourth or fifth day, it shows there is no waiting period and bookings are very poor. In other states, the waiting slots are 1-2 months long.