‘We give embossed number plates depending on the type of vehicle’
32 May, Kathmandu. After the government’s decision to use the Nepali language on the embossed number plates amid long confusion, preparations have been made for its implementation.
The Department of Transport Management has started the work of collecting the necessary data for printing embossed number plates on vehicles in English, Nepali and mixed languages. The Council of Ministers meeting on 21st Chait had decided to keep the embossed number plates in Devanagari script.
Since a few years ago, there was a demand for embossed number plates in Nepali from all parties, including linguists and parliamentarians.
According to the department, data is being collected on how many Nepali, English and mixed language number plates are required for all vehicles across the country. Ishwaridatta Paneru, the spokesperson of the department, said that the connection will speed up after understanding the number of types of vehicles and the language the customers want.
There are three types of vehicles namely two wheeler, four wheeler light and four wheeler heavy. Spokesperson Paneru said that they will need number plates of different sizes. He said that it will be determined how many number plates are required for which vehicles.
Spokesperson Paneru said that after the government decided to print in Nepali language, it is being decided how it can be done. He said that after the statistics, it can be said that the supplier company needs such number plates so much. He said, ‘Then this work can proceed.’
Since the department does not have the vehicle registration data across the country, it is currently being collected from the transport management office under the province. He says that since it is not possible to print based on guesswork how many plates are needed, the exact data details were sought first.
Spokesperson Paneru said that a total of 2.5 million numbers will be printed and only after knowing how many will be printed in English, how many will be Nepali and how many will be mixed. He said that this issue is being discussed as they are not allowed to print based on estimates. He said, ‘When the decision is made, it will take some time to plan how to do it in general.’
The department said that after finding out the type of vehicle, the data will be collected in which language and how much to print.
He said that if the ministry decides to use the same type of Nepali, English or mixed, it will be done on the same basis and if not, it will be done on the same basis after the number of service users choose which language to print, he said. He said that even if it is possible to work according to the same method, it will take time to understand who will choose which one when there are alternatives. He said, ‘How to do it is being discussed but no decision has been made yet.’
The English language of the customers who have previously installed embossed number plates on their vehicles will be retained. He said that since the investment has already been made, there will be no change in it. Since the revenue to be paid for the number plate connection is high, the demand for it to be reduced has been raised from the citizen level.
He said that since the subject of revenue is a matter mentioned in the Act, a decision can be made by the Parliament. He said, ‘No decision has been made yet.’
According to the department, talks are being held so that there is no additional financial burden when working from the old contract. The supplier company is also found to be positive about it. Even after seven years of the contract for installation of embossed number plates, the installation work is slow.
Sometimes due to help in the court, sometimes due to covid and sometimes due to language conflict, the implementation of number plates used in vehicles with high security has been slow. The department entered into an agreement with Tiger IT (The Corporation) on 17th June 2073 for the supply and installation of number plates.
After the contract period with the company is over, the department has been adding. The use of technological number plates is expected to prevent vehicle theft, revenue evasion and criminal activities.
In the agreement, the department mentioned that personal enrollment and information technology infrastructure will also be built. Bids were invited for a modern and scientific number plate international competition.
According to the agreement, the supplier company will develop software including personal programs to connect vehicle owners to the embossed plate system along with 2.5 million cards and issue number plates from the computer system for vehicles. The software is ready and operational.
As mentioned in the contract agreement to install and operate the machinery equipment used for number plate printing, the factory with the equipment is in working condition. The contract mentioned construction of gates at 10 locations for electronic monitoring of vehicles with ‘stickers’ or ‘tags’ attached.
In the Kathmandu valley, there is an agreement to install gates in Nagadhunga, Jagati, Nagarjuna, Pharping and Jorpati and outside the valley in Ithari, Pathalaiya, Butwal, Kohalpur and Attaria.
As per the constitution Nepali language written in Devanagari script is the language of government work, a writ was registered in February 2074 demanding Nepali letters on number plates. In that case, the number plates were stopped because the court gave an interim order.
After the dismissal of the writ in the said case, the way to proceed again was open. The court said that the neighboring country also used English language on the embossed number plates and the ministry and department were saying that the use of English language is not inappropriate as there is an international transport agreement with the neighboring country of Nepal.
Civilians, parliamentarians and linguists have been demanding the use of Nepali language on number plates. The linguists met the Prime Minister and the Minister of Physical Infrastructure and demanded it with the change of government.
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