ABDUL WAHAB KHAN | NT
The people are at the end of their tether while getting the high security number plates fitted on their vehicles at the fitting centre in Porvorim. The centre has turned into a complete mess vis-à-vis installation of the HSRPs on vehicles.
There are installation centres in every taluka. But for vehicles registered with Panaji and Mapusa RTOs the HSRP installation centre is only one, which is housed in a small shed opposite the KTC depot at Porvorim.
Over 200 vehicles come to the centre every day. But the people manning the centre attend just around 50-60 per cent of the vehicles because of poor management, staff shortage, substandard tools used in fitting the number plates and the lack of space to accommodate the vehicles.
The staff at the centre also are inadequately skilled. They do not wear uniform, which otherwise should help customers identify the staff. The delay in installation of HSRPs is mainly due to unavailability of a computerised counter,
although the centre is chock-a-block with customers. Moreover, there is no limit for this centre for accepting the number of vehicles, and the counter is open till 6 pm on a working day to attend to a large number of vehicles.
The centre is painfully slow in fixing the high-security registration plates onto the vehicles, prompting some of the vehicle owners to fit the plates on the vehicles themselves.
The backlog is so huge that vehicle owners are told to come on Saturdays for HSRP installation, inconveniencing the people who come from distant places.
A visit to the fitment centre revealed that vehicle owners have to wait for nearly five to six hours only to be told that the staff are unable to get the number plates installed.
On Wednesday, the installation work came to a halt from 4 pm after all the punching tools used in fitting snap locks broke down. And there was no replacement, which forced the people to go back home empty-handed.
As per the rules, the HSRP must be installed within seven days after application is accepted. The high security number plates get ready from regular three days from date of receipt of the application – and to maximum of seven days depending on load – but installation gets delayed.
When the customers visit the fitting centre in Porvorim for HSRP work they are surprised to observe that there is no a proper counter to attend to the customers. Besides, there is no token system.
There is hardly anybody at the desk to issue request slip after 2 pm, forcing the people to write their names and the type of vehicles on their own on the register kept outside.
A frequent complaint of vehicle owners has been that the new number plates get misplaced, forcing them to wait for long hours to see the number plates resurface. And even after the plates are found the fitting is delayed because of shortage of manpower and frequent machine breakdown.