Number plate tenders: Bidding firms in soup

Number plate tenders: Bidding firms in soup

It is an irony of sorts. The High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) tender called for by the Transport department has received bids from two companies which have been rejected in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.

The two companies, M/s Romserta Technologies Limited and M/s Linkpoint Infrastructure Private Limited, bid for the HSRP project in June 2013. While both of them are in the running for the contract, it has now come to light that Rosmerta is on the verge of getting its tender cancelled by the Delhi transport department. On the other hand, Linkpoint has already lost its contract in Madhya Pradesh.

Reasons: Supply of substandard and uncertified plates, supply of plates from unapproved sources, plates being fixed at undesignated centres, overcharging. Further, it is also learnt the Karnataka Transport department had revised the tender five times to find a place for the two companies.

Meanwhile, in January 2014, the Delhi transport department formed a committee to investigate into the Rosmerta- led Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and noted that it had violated the concession agreement signed with the department by bringing HSRPs with no source approvals. In Madhya Pradesh, Linkpoint also launched an SPV under the HSRP scheme. However, even there, charges of fraudulent transactions led the Madhya Pradesh transport department to cancel the contract.

On October 17, 2014, the transport commissioner of Madhya Pradesh terminated the concession agreement signed with M/s Link Utsav Auto system Pvt Limited, a joint venture between M/s Linkpoint Infrastructure Private Limited and Utsav Safety Systems, on charges of serious violations with regard to implementation of the scheme.

The technical partner and supplier of HSRP technology to both the companies, Utsav Safety Systems, lost its Conformity of Production certificates, issued by the technical expert consortium of Automotive Research Association of India, from January 15, 2014.

The companies are closely associated with Vivek Nagapal of M/s Shonk Technologies, against whom charge sheets were filed under section 420 of IPC by the CBI BankSecurities and fraud Cell. Two directors from Rosmerta-Pankaj Madan and Sandeep Malik - are also directors of KKH Technologies Pvt. Ltd - headed by Vivek Nagapal’s son. The two directors also hold shares in Rosmerta. A third company in Karnataka bidding for tenders, M/s Shimnit Utsch (I) Private Limited, is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court with the State over cancellation of its contract, awarded in 2006.

Govt version

Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda said that the department is awaiting Supreme Court’s directive before it proceeds with the tender process. “We are at present maintaining status quo. We will take a call after the Supreme Court makes a decision,” he said.

The HSRP system was made mandatory by the Centre, after Supreme Court directives to curb increasing cases of vehicle theft and other discrepancies.
DH News Service

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