Bhatinda, October 21, 2021 (Kulbir Singh Kalsi)
After the successful commencement of Mission Safe Ludhiana & Amritsar, Mission Safe Malwa was rolled out at the Press conference held in the city today by Dr Kamaljeet Soi Member- National Road Safety Council, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India, and Chairman of the NGO Raahat – The Safe Community Foundation & President – Global Society of Safety Professionals. Mission Safe Malwa aims to focus on the unabated drug trafficking rampant in Malwa.
Sharing his view on the same Soi said the extent of the problem is such that there are many key towns of Malwa like Bhatinda ,Faridkot, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Ludhiana, Sangrur , Sri Muktsar Sahib which have been identified by central government as worst affected in terms of drug abuse and addiction under national action plan called ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat”
Dr Kamaljeet Soi & his NGO Raahat – The Safe Community Foundation have been taking up the issues of road safety from last about 20 years and has been recognized at State, National & International level for the work done in this field.
Dr Soi, particularly emphasized upon the strict implementation of High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) to curb the increasing drug trafficking in Malwa belt as fake number plates are used on vehicles involved in drug trade causing irreparable damage to the social and economic structure of the region.
On aligning implementation of HSRP with issue of widespread drug trafficking Dr Kamaljeet Soi said that the HSRP scheme was initiated by the Punjab Government in year 2012 but nothing much moved in this direction for years and as a result even today almost 20 lakh vehicles are still plying on the roads of Punjab sans HSRP and they are adding new and alarming dimensions to the drug trafficking and other criminal activities in the state. The need of the hour is a complete implementation of HSRP code and it’s effective follow-up
The Principal Secretary, Government of Punjab, Department of Transport had notified a penalty/ challan amount of Rs. 2000/- for first offence and Rs. 3000/- for subsequent offence via notification number 10/166/2009- 1T2/809 dated the 27th July 2020 for vehicle owners who have still not affixed HSRPs on their vehicles. Conversely, in the last 15 months, the Traffic Police has not undertaken any enforcement drive that has resulted in nonchalant attitude on the part of the vehicle owners.
To add to the problems, some miscreants under a fraudulent practice are affixing counterfeit/ fake HSRPs on the vehicles. Although some of these vehicles have been impounded by the Police, a large number of vehicles are still plying on the roads without HSRPs. An immediate action is required to stop this menace or these vehicles will remain a threat to the security of the city, state in particular and the nation at large.
Keeping in mind the existing scenario, the Office of the State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, vide letter number STC – P(P-2)/20502-602 has sent a communication dated the 12th of August 2021 to all the Regional Transport authorities as well as to the SDM’s in the State highlighting the same concern.
The official notification clearly indicates that Vanity Numbers which had been allotted to the vehicle owners in lieu of payment after 12.06.1989 with registration mark other than “PB” State code and other parts of the registration ma and are not in conformity with the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 should be surrendered to the state. Also, the vehicle owners have been asked to get new registration marks in conformity to the above said Act.
He exhorted the state transport department to immediately issue necessary instructions to its officers to start enforcing the scheme to keep a check on this major issue ailing Punjab in general and Malwa in particular.