Booking of cases under Section 52 may impact spare engine business

Owners of 63 autorickshaws that have been seized for violations of the Motor Vehicle Act in raids conducted jointly by the police and the transport authority have a grace period of a fortnight to replace their engines with new ones purchased directly from the companies.

The vehicles were reportedly seized because the engine numbers were either filed off or do not match with the numbers on the registration document.

According to the Motor Vehicle Act, if the engine of any vehicle was damaged or burnt, the vehicle owner had to necessarily purchase the same engine from the company and then get the new engine regularised by the transport authority.

Seizing of the autorickshaws triggered a furore among the owners, many of whom were not aware of the provisions of Section 52 of the MV Act.

The engine and chassis numbers of a vehicle are crucial for its identification. The number of the chassis is used extensively both by the police and the transport authority to identify vehicles that are involved either in accidents, or have been stolen/missing.

The booking of cases under Section 52 will, however, ring a death knell to the spare engine business. Several small units in Autonagar depend on the spare part and spare engine business for their survival. Though the MV Act has been in force since 1988, the clause in section 52 that prevents any sort of alternation is being implemented more recently.

There is a suspicion that the automobile companies are bringing pressure on the government to strictly implement Section 52 to curb the duplicate spare party industry.

Deputy Commissioner of Transport Ch. Sivalingaiah said only two types of alterations were allowed under the Act. The first was alteration to change the fuel being used, such as converting to LPG or CNG. The other alteration allowed was replacement of engine from the original company. The engine of a condemned vehicle or a vehicle damaged in an accident could not be used as per the Act, he said.

The grace time was given because many of the owners were not aware of the provisions of the Act, he said.

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