The Maharashtra motor vehicle department has stopped the registration and fitness renewal of all transport category vehicles at the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) — where there is no test track is available — till next Monday, to avoid conflicting with a Bombay high court directive and being charged with contempt of court.
“To avoid contempt of the high court, fitness renewal has been stopped till the next hearing on Monday,” said Pravin Gedam, transport commissioner.
Transport or Commercial category vehicles— ones with yellow number plates — include buses, taxis, trucks and auto rickshaws. Now, vehicle owners and drivers will have to wait to renew their vehicle’s fitness, or register new vehicles. If their vehicle’s fitness expires during this period, drivers will be forced to pay a fine of at least Rs1,000.
All the RTOs received this directive from the transport commissioner’s office on Wednesday evening, though they stopped the registration and fitness renewal of transport vehicles on Wednesday morning.
On Monday, while hearing a PIL filed by Pune-based social activist Shrikant Karve, the high court warned the state government to follow its earlier order and construct a 250-metre road track at all RTOs to test vehicles before issuing fitness certificates or face contempt action.
Transport department officials said the court warning came as their department failed to fulfil their promise to make 250meter tracks available at all RTOs within six months — to test vehicles before renewing their fitness — last February.