Pune: The Regional Transport Office (RTO) Pune, has finally changed the way in which appointment quota is granted to owners of heavy vehicles for issuance of fitness certificates at Dive, near Saswad. Now, the spots will be issued from 8 am till 10 pm. Earlier thousands of applicants had to wait endlessly past midnight to secure a spot as the RTO used to declare the list of the applicants only post-midnight. Moreover, applicants repeatedly complained that these spots were illegally blocked by RTO agents using fake names or vehicle numbers and thus compelling legitimate applicants to lose their chance.
Earlier in November last year, RTO had set up a new break testing track at Dive in November. Recently four new tracks were set up to facilitate vehicles owners to pass the test without waiting for more days. Every day around 250 vehicles pass through the testing track and receive fitness certificate.
"Earlier, the quota used to be declared at midnight. Till then the vehicle owners who wanted a spot had to wait for the process. Now we have changed the timing and it will open from 8 am to 10 pm. We are implementing it from Friday," said BI Ajri, Regional Transport Officer, Pune.
Thousands of vehicles continued to remain on the waiting list due to non-availability of appointments. Many vehicle owners have complained against it to the RTO in past few weeks.
"We are also increasing the number of spots for vehicles appearing for the fitness test from Friday. Earlier only 250 appointments were issued, the number has gone up by 50 extra per day. Now every day around 300 vehicles will go through the fitness day at Dive," said Ajri.
The city has more than 45,000 auto-rickshaws and around 10,000 pick-up vehicles. With the RTO opening fresh registration of auto-rickshaws last year, the number is expected to see a further rise.
"For us, the fitness test is a struggle considering the fact that so many vehicles undergo the test and sometimes things get delayed by two days or more. If the RTO is increasing the number of quotas, it will help thousands of vehicle owners who are still on the waiting list. On an average, a vehicle takes about half an hour or sometimes even more to complete the fitness test," Raju Shinde, a tempo driver, said.
The RTO is waiting for roller brake testing machine, which has been sanctioned by city MP Anil Shirole recently with Rs 50 lakh of the cost. This machine will put an end to the traditional process of brake testing on small commercial vehicles like auto-rickshaws and small pickup trucks.