In the absence of proper equipment, it continues to rely on manual inspection of vehicles for issue of fitness certificates

Last year, over 30 passengers died in the Sree Kaleswari Shirdi bus accident at Osmanabad district in Maharashtra and last month 45 were charred to death in yet another private bus accident at Palem in Mahabubnagar district.

Despite lives being lost in such ghastly incidents, the transport department apparently continues to be slow in equipping itself with the technology for testing fitness of vehicles. In the absence of proper equipment to conduct fitness of vehicles at Regional Transport Authority (RTA) offices, it continues to rely on manual inspection of vehicles for issuing fitness certificates.

All transport vehicles like private buses, trucks, cabs etc., have to get fitness certificates from the respective RTA offices every year. During inspection, motor vehicle inspectors are supposed to check for different parameters like brake testing, wheel alignment, steering test, headlamp test and so on for issuing certificates.

“But the department does not have the advanced paraphernalia for such tests. Most RTA offices do not even have space to set them up,” admitted a senior official. Some fitness testing infrastructure that was set up in the Secunderabad RTA long ago had gone defunct. The official pointed out that most RTA offices in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy operate from rented premises, and there was no space for installing any fitness testing infrastructure here. This, despite over 100 transport vehicles obtai-ning fitness certificate from each of these offices daily!

An advanced motor vehicle inspection and testing centre sanctioned at Choutuppal in Nalgonda district by the Central government has remained mired in delays with the State government had failed to promptly identify a proper site. The Centre which had sanctioned Rs.15 crore in 2011 for the facility wanted it to have advanced computerised vehicle inspection and testing mechanism.

Admitting delays in identifying land for the centre, another official said civil works had already commenced and the facility would be launched in March next year.

Initially heavy and medium transport vehicle owners from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts will have to travel to the centre for fitness certificates. Depending on the project’s success, similar centres would be established at different locations in the State, he claimed.

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