Even after deadline, many vehicles have not got the seal of Motor Vehicles Department

It was a race against time across the State on Thursday to get the seal of the Motor Vehicles Department on speed governors with the deadline set for heavy vehicles to get the anomalies rectified on the mandatory gadgets coming to an end on Wednesday.

A majority of the heavy vehicles that were taken to the officials of the department to get the seal to make the speed governors tamper-proof were private stage carriers. In addition to three seals of the manufacturer at three points, the officials are now affixing seals near the accelerators of the vehicles.

After the seals are affixed, “checked” stickers are pasted on the windscreen. When the gadget is installed, an endorsement is made on the registration certificate (RC) book.

Although Transport Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh has said that the drive will be intensified to enforce use of speed governors on stage carriers to curb speeding and thereby prevent accidents, the department adopted a soft stand on Thursday.

Mr. Singh had announced that the fitness certificate of heavy vehicles not using speed governors would be cancelled. The main reason for not going aggressive is that the department had not been able to affix the seals on the gadget on all stage carriers.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which has a 6,100-strong fleet, has not been able to make the gadgets functional on all its buses. Only 40 per cent of its buses had the gadgets in working condition, and the decision of Mr. Singh not to spare the corporation’s fleet led to the cancellation of the fitness certificate of over a dozen buses.

A city-based leading private bus operator, who has been in the field for over six decades, told The Hindu that stage carriers were being exploited by dealers and technicians. Of the 15 approved companies, the products of only two were now available in the State.

“There is no product numbering and guarantee and the prices vary. An ISI-approved gadget is now priced at Rs. 15,000. The spare parts are not available and are heavily priced. Technicians are not available on call. We are being harassed and exploited by the dealers and the technicians,” he said.

Defects in the spring rod assembly and the electronic control unit and the motor, cable and sensors of the gadgets are the main irritants for stage-carrier operators.

“It has been pointed out that if there is a gearbox snag, the seal will have to be tampered with for rectifying. The buses will not be able to enter the road unless the department affixes the seals again,” the operator said. The speed limit of all heavy vehicles, including KSRTC buses, is fixed at 60 kmph, and the gadget is sealed to prevent tampering.