Delhi’s first automated fitness centre for vehicles is set to open by end of April.
The facility, a partnership between the Union ministry of road transport and highways and the Delhi government, has been built in southwest Delhi’s Jhuljhuli area. The centre is expected to take a major load off the existing fitness centre at Burari, which at present is the only place where commercial vehicles including taxis, auto-rickshaws and buses can be tested.
An average of 20,000 vehicles queue up every month at the Burari centre for fitness certificates, which commercial license owners need to get either on buying a new vehicle or for yearly renewal after completion of the first two years.
“We hope to start the centre by the end of April. Construction of the centre is over and the machinery required have been commissioned. We are now waiting for installation of high-speed internet service which is required to integrate records of all vehicles under the web-based Vahan 4.0 system,” an official working on the project said.
Currently, fitness test of in-use transport vehicles such as heavy motor vehicles and light motor vehicles is being carried out manually after a visual check by regional transport office officials. This could be the reason as to why only 6,352 (3.6%) out of a total 1,77,065 vehicles that were tested at the centre failed fitness tests between March 2016 to February 2017.
The new automated centre will ensure the safety and quality of vehicles like buses, cabs, gramin sewas, heavy goods vehicles, ambulances, and light goods vehicles.
“The current vehicle fitness process is not foolproof and could be inaccurate at times. Automation of fitness centres will improve quality of vehicles on road as everything from brakes, headlights and suspension to emissions will be checked by different machines,” the official said.
A properly maintained and fully functioning vehicle meeting all safety requirements is also less likely to be involved in a road accident, he added.
The Delhi government has provided three acres of land for the project, with the Union road ministry funding the project and the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) being the implementing agency. The centre has been built at a cost of Rs 16 crore approximately.
The facility is a part of the Road Ministry’s pilot project where seven states including Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh will get automated vehicle fitness centres. The only such operational facility is in Nashik.