The numbers game gets car-ried away

as if delhi didn’t have enough on its plate already, the numbers game seems to be moving in overdrive. the fact of the matter is that confusion would appear to begin with a capital c in the capital’s context if it is vehicular number-plates one is talking about. with an official proposal outlining a revision in the colour and nature of umber-plates, drivers have slowed down to pause and ponder. according to dcp (traffic) northern range pc hota, ‘‘while the proposal envisages private vehicles bearing white number-plates embossed with black digits, black on yellow is the combination for commercial vehicles in general. the search for a tamper-proof number-plate is still on and we are yet to issue a notification which requires drivers to change their existing number-plates. the implementation of the official proposal stands deferred for the time being and vehicle-owners are advised to wait for a notification from the government before going in for hasty changes.’’ as for the reason behind the confusion this season, the fact of the matter is that the first thing the car chor does with a stolen vehicle is change its number-plate. as joint cp (traffic) maxwell pereira puts it, ‘‘it is very easy for auto-lifters to change the number-plate of a stolen vehicle. keeping this in mind, we are exploring the possibility of using tamper-proof material for number-plates. besides, getting registration numbers to be embossed rather than painted on number-plates and making it mandatory for vehicles to bear holograms on the windscreen and rear screen will put the brakes on car theft. as and when these changes are introduced, the public will be informed in advance through advertisements and notifications.’’ it’s a metro on the move, but it’s not necessarily going in the right direction. not only does delhi’s vehicular population put in the shade the combined automobile aggregate of mumbai, kolkata and chennai, national crime records bureau figures prove that the unofficial crime capital of the country leads the table as regards the number of vehicular-theft cases countrywide. side by side, at the recently held international conference of law-enforcers, interpol pointed to a worldwide surge in car theft, with one vehicle being stolen every 10 seconds. while interpol has sought international cooperation to put an end to this menace, the indian government seems to have taken an initiative by making amendments in the format stipulated for vehicular registration number-plates. of course, taking advantage of the delhi driver’s tendency to jump signals before a proposal has been shown the official green light, confusion has managed to wheel itself into the scene. yes, even the numbers game can get car-ried away!

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