From April 15, all transport or commercial vehicles such as private buses plying on inter-city routes, dumpers carrying debris and school buses ferrying students will need to renew their fitness certificates well in advance of the expiry date, failing which they will either invite a large fine or suspension of permit.
Based on a decision by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority’s (MMRTA), Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will either impose a compounding fees starting at Rs.1000 or suspend the vehicle’s permit for at least 10 days, if a commercial vehicle, including taxis and autorickshaws registered in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), renews the certificate after the deadline.
As per section 56 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a fitness certificate that authenticates whether a vehicle is roadworthy or fit to ply, is mandatory for every vehicle. In case of commercial vehicles, which need permits to ferry passengers, a fitness renewal is necessary every year.
These fitness certificates can be renewed up to a month before the deadline. However, in the absence of a stringent rule, vehicle owners don’t bother sticking to the deadline.
With the implementation of the new rule, while a delay in renewal of up to 10 days will invite a fine Rs.1000 fine or a suspension of permit, a further delay will increase the fine by Rs.100 a day. The suspension period may also be increased.
“We have appealed to vehicle owners to renew the fitness of their vehicles, else they will have to face strict action,” said a senior RTO official.
In case of autorickshaws and taxis, the decision has already been implemented since last year.
However, in its last meeting last month, the MMRTA decided to extended this decision to other transport vehicles too.
In the absence of a vaild fitness certificate, insurance companies can also deny claim of vehicles in case of an accident, said the official.
According to sources, transport authorities were forced to take the decision after being pulled up by the Bombay high court.
Out of the total number of registered vehicles in MMR, 30% are transport vehicles including autorickshaws and taxis. This number could be up to two to three lakh within the city limit itself.