Mumbai RTOs not ready with test tracks; deadline ends in April
The Bombay HC, in its order, had clearly stated it won’t grant an extension for making the test tracks.mumbai Updated: Apr 07, 2018 23:29 IST
None of the four regional transport offices (RTO) in the city are ready with the 250-metre brake test tracks required to conduct vehicle fitness tests, although the deadline set by the Bombay high court (HC) ends this month.
On September 14, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pune-based whistleblower Shrikant Karve, the HC had directed the transport department to stop conducting vehicle fitness tests on open roads by April-end.
The HC, in its order, had clearly stated it won’t grant an extension for making the test tracks. It had warned that if the tracks are not ready within six months, it might stop brake tests or renewal of fitness certificates.
Although not in Mumbai, the transport department did manage to get test tracks ready in other parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). On Sunday, the department is going to inaugurate the track of the Panvel RTO at Taloja, in the presence of transport minister Diwakar Raote. In case of commercial vehicles, one with the yellow number plates, fitness tests are conducted annually, except for newly registered ones. New vehicles have to renew their fitness certificate two years after registration while private vehicles, one with the white number plates, have to do so after 15 years.
The Tardeo RTO has been conducting vehicle fitness tests in its office premises, on a testing track of less than 100 metre. Andheri RTO and Wadala RTO have been conducting the tests on open roads, while Borivli RTO has been doing so on a rented BEST plot. According to RTO officials, the Tardeo RTO had sought the land of Aarey dairy at Worli sea face for the test track, while Wadala RTO had requested foritsdairyland at Kurla, besides a government land at Mulund. Borivli RTO and Andheri RTO had sought lands adjacent to Aarey road in Goregaon and near the Versova cemetery, respectively.
Apart from Andheri, the government has not allotted the land to any other RTO in Mumbai. A senior RTO official said, “The government issued a notification about the allotment of land to RTOs months ago, but the files are still pending at the collector’s office,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Another official said they resent the proposals for the plots. Meanwhile, transport secretary and commissioner, Manoj Saunik, could not be reached for comment.