Various unions of commercial vehicles owners and operators including public transport vehicles like city buses, auto rickshaws and Vikrams will observe a State-wide ‘chakka jam’ today. The unions have stated that they will also take out a protest march to the Vidhan Sabha on the first day of its session on Tuesday. The unions are protesting on issues including automated testing centres. The Dehradun Mahanagar City Bus Sewa Mahasangh has demanded that the old system should be continued till the authorities establish fitness centres in each district. Meanwhile, the State’s Transport commissioner Arvind Singh Hyanki has issued a clarification regarding the importance of the automated testing centres established in the State. In a letter written to all the district magistrates, senior superintendents of police and regional transport officers, the commissioner has stated that considering the planned State-wide ‘chakka jam’ against the setting up of the testing stations, necessary arrangements should be made at the local level to ensure that the operation of vehicles involved in essential services is not hampered. Security should be provided to vehicle owners who wish to operate their vehicles on Tuesday and it should be ensured that union leaders do not forcibly prevent the operation of vehicles. If needed, coordination should be established with the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation to arrange for vehicles at the local level.
The commissioner stated that the fitness test of a transport vehicle is conducted physically by the RI (Technical) at the RTO/ARTO before issuance of the fitness certificate. Issues like skill of the inspector and equipment needed for the testing have been faced in this system. Stating that the safety of travelers, driver and the vehicle along with pollution control are causes for concern and for this purpose the use of technology for testing fitness of the vehicle has become unavoidable. To improve the testing and make it free of errors, the Central government has envisioned the establishment of automated testing centres. Proposals were invited from all State governments for establishing such centres in response to which the State government submitted a proposal for setting automated testing centres at two locations in the State. Further, guidelines were issued in September last year for setting up such centres with private investment. The commissioner clarified that as per the Central government notification issued in April this year, the fitness certificate renewal period has been fixed at two years for vehicles upto eight years old and one year for vehicles older than eight years. Further, fitness tests will be mandatory from registered automated testing centres. Hyanki stated that at present private automated testing stations are established only in Dehradun and Rudrapur in the State. In other districts, the earlier system of getting the fitness test done from the transport offices will continue.