An online booking facility, which was introduced in October last year by the Real Mazon Pvt Ltd (RMIL), an agency appointed by the state government to make the process of getting authorised high-security registration number plates for cars and bikes a smoother affair, has evoked poor response.
With poor internet connectivity, vehicle owners most of the time are left with no other option but to stand in queue to make an appointment at the counter set up in every RTO office for the purpose of fitment of high-security registration plate (HSRP).
According to transport department, the company has fitted over 70,000 high-security number plates since October 1 across its nine centres located in Mapusa, Bicholim, Pernem, Porvorim, Ponda, Dharbandora, Vasco, Arlem and Canacona. There is another fitment centre recently allotted to the company at Amona in Quepem.
The fitting centres in Porvorim and Arlem both attend equally 125 vehicles per day and remaining centres attend 75 calls.
This highlights the need for more fitment centres with spacious area and additional manpower to speed up the HSRP fitting process.
However, the maximum number of these bookings was received using offline mode through special counters due to connectivity-related issue.
While many applicants do receive the number plates in around five days, others are not so lucky because it took them 12-15 days to receive the plates and also no messages were sent to the customers reminding them about their date of fitment.
The officials of Real Mazon company say that longer dates are given as per the workload of the particular fitment centre which if it exceeds the daily limit of 100 in addition to backlog then the appointment days get extended.
There are two centres in Pernem and Bicholim which are open exclusively on Saturdays for those who miss the date to get their vehicles fitted with number plates.
Moreover owners of two-wheelers and four-wheelers can also fit their number plates at any of the nine fitment centres on a special request by paying additional fees.
Earlier the fitting centres would receive over 200 vehicles a day but could attend to around 50-60 per cent of them, while customers would wait for hours because of poor management, staff shortage, substandard tools used in fitting the number plates and lack of space to accommodate large number of vehicles.
However, now the average time taken to replace the number plates is 20-25 minutes, not due to poor manpower, but because when there is rusting or corrosion to iron bolts of old number plates it needs to be ensured that no damage is caused to the vehicle while removing the old plates.