‘Vehicles use same registration number to avoid road tax’

Two private buses including one used by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) were seized on Wednesday for sporting identical number plates.

The Red Hills regional transport office conducted the raid based on a tip-off from intelligence sources in the department. The two buses were seized at Ambattur and Maduravoyal after the drivers failed to produce valid documents during vehicle checks. It was later found that both buses had the same registration number.

“During a special drive based on an alert, we intensified our raids in Ambuttur and Maduravoyal. As the same team of officers was involved in the raids at both places, the team was able to detect the misuse of number plates,” said regional transport officer R. Dharani who led the team.

One of the vehicles was a private contract bus used by CMRL to transport its staff and workers to various parts of the city.

A case has been filed at the local police station under section 420 of the IPC. The seized buses will be produced before the court for further action.

Sources in the transport department said evasion of road tax could be the reason for misuse of number plates in this manner.

For instance, a private bus with 60 seats has to pay a minimum of Rs 1.15 lakh as road tax, once in three months. To evade it, many buses, mostly private omni and transport buses use identical number plates.

“This is mostly seen in crowded educational institutions and companies as many buses ply in these campuses and it is difficult to monitor each of them,” said motor vehicles inspector (Ambattur), V. Girirajan.

“Faster execution of the National Registry of Motor Vehicles and Drivers Licence for a centralised database of vehicle details will help to curb the menace,” said another transport official.

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