RTO starts mega drive against unfit vehicles

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Drive to be undertaken by only two RTO inspectors as most of them are facing suspension

PUNE: The Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Pune has launched a massive drive against the vehicles, which are plying without the fitness certificate. The decision followed after the State Transport Department was pulled up for failing to check unfit vehicles on the city roads. 

However, the team that has been given the responsibility to conduct the drive comprises just two vehicle inspectors.

The drive started on Monday and will continue till October 23. The RTO has deputed two motor vehicle inspectors to spot the vehicles, which either do not have a fitness certificate or those which have fitness certificates but are not fit to ply on roads.

However, there is a shortage of vehicle inspectors in the Pune RTO. There are 36 lakh vehicles registered with the office. 

“We are focusing on vehicles that carry goods and passengers. Two-wheelers and small vehicles will not be inspected during the drive,” said a senior officer of RTO.

Last month, the state transport department suspended 28 motor vehicle inspectors and nine assistant inspectors posted at various RTOs across Maharashtra for issuing fitness certificates to vehicles without a proper inspection. The highest number of suspended officers (13) are from Pune RTO. 

The transport department’s move comes after the Bombay High Court slammed it and initiated contempt proceedings against its secretary last August in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pune resident Shrikant Karve. 

The PIL exposed several irregularities in the way the RTO handed out fitness certificates without conducting tests. The court also ordered the transport department to carry out mandatory brake tests for vehicles as well as installing CCTV cameras at test tracks.

Fitness certificates are issued to vehicles that are deemed fit to ply on road without causing any sort of public hazard. This involves testing different parts of the vehicle, including the brakes. 

Commercial vehicles such as buses, trucks, tempos, taxis and auto-rickshaws need to renew their fitness certificates every year, whereas non-commercial vehicles such as cars and bikes need to do so every 15 years.

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