Radio frequency vehicle registration plates to be introduced in Islamabad

Updated October 08, 2019

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Radio frequency identification (RFID) vehicle registration plates will be introduced in the capital to meet international standards and counter terrorism-related activities and auto theft. — AFP/File
Radio frequency identification (RFID) vehicle registration plates will be introduced in the capital to meet international standards and counter terrorism-related activities and auto theft. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Radio frequency identification (RFID) vehicle registration plates will be introduced in the capital to meet international standards and counter terrorism-related activities and auto theft.

The initiative will also increase revenue collections by helping authorities in tracing defaulters, an official told Dawn.

A few meetings were held between Islamabad Excise Department and the Islamabad Safe City Project during which the project was discussed and finalised. Later, the proposal was sent to the interior ministry for approval, he said.

The step was taken after the excise department found that introducing uniform registration plates in the country was impossible due to a number of complications.

Earlier, the interior ministry and the excise department had worked over it and decided to explore an alternative solution.

After the 18 amendment, the activities of excise department were devolved to provinces and the federal cannot interfere in the working of the provincial excise departments.

Furthermore, amendments are required to be made to the Constitution to bring it under the federal government.

Besides, the provincial excise departments have agreements with different manufacturers who make and provide registration plates to them.

Cancellation of these agreements is also a difficult task. Keeping in view the situation it was decided to go for another solution and centralise the excise data.

The capital’s excise department suggested adopting the international standards by introducing RFID registration plates which will carry all details about the vehicle owner and registration and token tax details.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry and the excise department are also working on the centralisation of database of registration numbers so that each province could have access to the centralised data.

The CCTVs of the Safe City Project are recognising and reading registration plates issued by the capital’s excise department. The plates issued by excise department of Punjab are also recognised by the CCTVs. When contacted, Excise Department Director Bilal Azam told Dawn that RFID would be introduced as a third number plate and installed on the front windscreen of vehicles. Such modern technology is used worldwide, he added.

RFID would get spoiled when removed enabling police and officials of the Safe City control room to identify such vehicles that are suspected of being stolen or having fake or duplicate plates, he said. The technology also helps the authority trace a vehicle and get its exact location in case of theft/snatching.

The system will improve revenue collections as defaulters will be traced through it.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2019