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Delhi govt to have 13 fitness testing centres for autos

The state transport department has come up with a proposal to decentralise the lone auto-rickshaw testing unit in Delhi. This comes after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal pulled up officials for not having enough anti-corruption measures in place.

delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2018 03:42 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi govt,fitness testing centres,autos
While there are about 95,000 autos in the capital, there is currently only one fitness centre — at North Delhi’s Burari.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

The state transport department has come up with a proposal to decentralise the lone auto-rickshaw testing unit in Delhi. This comes after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal pulled up officials for not having enough anti-corruption measures in place.

Under the decentralisation plan, the department has proposed to open auto-rickshaw fitness testing units at 13 motor licensing offices across Delhi.

It also suggests accepting test fee only online in order to remove the network of touts or to include it among the facilities to be provided under the Aam Aadmi Party government’s flagship doorstep delivery of services scheme.

While there are about 95,000 autos in the capital, there is currently only one fitness centre — at North Delhi’s Burari.

The proposal comes at a time when transport minister Kailash Gahlot is scheduled to answer Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Om Prakash Sharma’s question in the Delhi assembly on Thursday. Sharma had asked whether Kejriwal found “gross irregularities” during his July 17 visit to the testing unit in Burari.

During his visit, the chief minister had received a number of complaints about problems being faced by auto and taxi drivers in getting work done at the centre because of the presence of touts there.

The proposal also states that the new fully automated fitness centre in Jhuljhuli is currently “grossly underutilised” and has suggested that the facility be used for fitness tests of all taxis in Delhi. Against the capacity of testing 50,000 vehicles a year, the automated centre currently caters to about 5,000 vehicles, mainly school buses.

While the matter was not discussed in the House on Wednesday as it was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to former Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi, the issue was raised on Tuesday when the transport minister criticised the department’s secretary and commissioner Varsha Joshi, for saying that ‘no corruption was found at the Burari centre’.

Last week, Gahlot and Joshi had a major showdown after the commissioner’s proposed reply to BJP MLA OP Sharma’s question on irregularities at the Burari centre did not go down well with the minister.

Among the other measures, officials of the transport department said it has also been proposed to make the payment process completely online.

“Although online payment of the fitness test fee is available even now, it is optional and the response from auto-rickshaw owners or drivers is poor. To serve them in an organised manner, we plan to set up help desks at licensing offices in all the 13 zones,” an official privy to the development said.

To ensure that the tests results are not fudged, the department will also set up teams of inspectors with
supporting staff to monitor the process.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 03:42 IST