Following stiff resistance from commercial vehicle owners, the Transport Department has deferred mandatory fixing of retro- reflective tape and rear marking plate authenticated with QR code. Transport vehicle owners had alleged that they were not against fixing retro-reflective tapes, but the department’s move to authenticate the tape with QR code and asking them to buy the tapes from empanelled agencies go against their interest.
President of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners Association Naveen Reddy said, “Earlier, lorry owners were able to purchase reflective tape ₹48 a metre plus applicable taxes We were purchasing the tapes as per the specifications fixed by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) as directed by the Union government. However, the department in Karnataka with ulterior motives came out with a rule that the tape should be QR code authenticated. This was unwarranted. On the other hand, now the owners are forced to pay anywhere between ₹130 to ₹150 for a metre. We are willing to fix the tapes as specified by the ARAI. Insisting on QR code just to harass the owners and asking them to purchase tapes through a few agencies is not correct.”
Mr. Reddy said that after strong opposition, the department deferred the installation of tapes for eight to 10 days.
Transport Commissioner S.N. Siddaramappa said, “Reflective tape was made mandatory as a safety measure. We had insisted on QR code to avoid any malpractice while issuing the Fitness Certificates (FCs) for transport vehicles. Earlier, there were instances of vehicles not being produced, but FCs were issued. We have objections from truck owners and others for this rule. We have postponed the mandatory installation for some time. We will hold a meeting with the representatives of vehicle owners on the issue and resolve the same.”
When asked about the allegation about higher price fixed for the tape, he said, “We are not regulating prices of the tapes. As the owners have raised objections, we will talk to the suppliers.”