HYDERABAD: It has been four years since 45 passengers were charred to death in sleep on a Hyderabad bound private Volvo bus near Palem in the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district allegedly due to fitness issues of the bus and the authorities are yet to put in place the Advanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Testing Centre.Ironically, the Union government in 2011 had sanctioned Rs 15 crore for setting up the testing centre at Choutuppal in Yadadri district. It never took off as the said funds were reportedly not released.
Meanwhile, the state transport department continues to compromise on the fitness of vehicles in the absence of proper testing equipment. The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) authorities continue to rely on manual inspection of vehicles for issuing fitness certificates and these vehicles ply unchecked on the roads. A senior transport official admitted the fact that several motor vehicle inspectors issue certificates to the unfit transport vehicles by taking bribes.
Every day at least 120 transport vehicles obtain fitness certificate from each RTA office in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits and many flout the transport norms, he said. “Long ago, a fitness testing equipment was installed at RTA in Secunderabad, which had gone defunct now. Due to lack of space at other RTA offices in city, we are unable to set up the equipment,” the official said.
On the status of the advanced motor vehicle inspection and testing centre, the official said, “Earlier, the project was delayed as the State government failed to identify the required land. But now all the civil works have been completed and we are waiting for equipment which will be imported from Spain.”
Once commenced, the fully automated testing centre can inspect at least 30 vehicles in an hour without any human intervention, the official said.
Annual fitness test
All commercial vehicles including trucks, private buses, school buses, cabs, light motor vehicles and auto rickshaws have to obtain fitness certificates from the respective RTA offices every year. The RTA officials, during the annual fitness test, are supposed to test the headlamp, brakes, wheel alignment, suspension, pollution and underground inspection for issuing the certificates.