RR NUMBER PLATES IN VEHICLES
Doubts mounts if govt can do it in a yearShahin Akhter
Doubts are increasing whether the government would be able to affix retro-reflective registration plates with radiofrequency identification tags in all the motor vehicles in the country in one year ending November 6, 2013.
Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Limited, assigned to replace the existing number plates, has been doing the work at snail’s pace, raising the doubts.
BMTF Retro-Reflective Number Plate Project officials attributed the slow pace of work to space shortage at BRTA offices, where the number plates are replaced and also a lack of interest among vehicle owners in the
new number plates.
On November 7, BMTF began replacing the number plates at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority’s office at Mirpur in the city.
The project was inaugurated by prime minister Sheikh Hasina on October 31, 2011 to facilitate better tracking of vehicles both at night and day.
The assignment requires BMTF to replace 4,797 number plates each day to cover 17.5 lakh motor vehicles across the country in the stipulated time of one year.
Officials said BMTF Retro-Reflective Number Plate Project was replacing 1,100 number plates a day on an average in the cities of Dhaka, Chittgong, Khulna and Rajshahi against its capacity of 6,600.
The new plates with radiofrequency identification tags would allow clear reading both at night and day.
Project coordinator Kamrul Islam told New Age, ‘We would start our work at all the seven divisional offices of the BRTA within this month.’
The BMTF project engaged 600 employees to affix the new number plates and tags on all motor vehicles in the country in one year.
BMTF posted 31 employees at BRTA office at Mirpur who can affix 3,000 new number plates per day, an official told New Age.
He said that they were affixing 550 new number plates a day on an average due to lack of interest among vehicles owners and space shortage at BRTA office.
He said since November 7 BMTF affixed 7,841 new number plates at the BRTA office at Mirpur.
The official said that about 200 owners were absent per day on average while with this rate they would be able to set number plates and tags on 80 to 90 per cent vehicles out of 100 per cent all over the country in a year.
BMTF posted 15 personnel at BRTA office at Ekuria in Keraniganj, to change the number plates, BMTF operation manager Bony Amin told New Age.
He said the BMTF personnel at Ekuria can affix 1,000 number plates per day.
But only around 100 vehicles are brought to the centre by owners a day seeking number plate replacement, he added.
Project coordinator Kamrul Islam said, on an average 450 number plates were being placed per day on in the cities of Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi against the capacity of the units in these cities to replace 2,600 number plates each day.
Kamal called for raising vehicle owners’ awareness to make them interested in replacing the outdated number plates.
BRTA said only 1,26,341 vehicle owners paid fees seeking the new number plates until December 20.
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