CHENNAI: With more than 50 per cent of government bus over-aged, the Centre’s move to set up automatic testing stations for issuing fitness certificate for transport vehicles have raised questions over public transportation in the State.
If the government buses are sent to automatic testing centres, a large chunk of buses will fail the FC test, resulting in disruption in public transportation, said sources from the transport unions. Presently, over-aged MTC buses are given fitness certificate for a period of six months.
In its affidavit submitted before Madras High Court on November 2017, the State transport department admitted that as on September 30, 2017, as many as 15,184 buses of the total fleet of 22,203 are aged. A bus operated for more than seven years or that runs for more than 60,000 km is considered over-aged.
The Metropolitan transport corporation (MTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) have the highest share of worn-out buses in the state. Of the 3,843 MTC buses, 2,960 (77.02 per cent) are over-aged, while 908 buses (78.28 per cent) buses of SETC exceeded its life time out of 1,160.
Similarly, Kumbakonam and Salem division of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation runs with over 69 per cent of worn-out buses.
About 4,381 new buses added to the fleet of eight transport corporations between 2017 and August 2019. “After Centre notified the rules for MV Act, the State will frame the rules for implementing provisions. It’s too early to comment. The matter will be looked into seriously,” said officials from MTC and SETC.