Auto unions to protest against Rs.50 per day fee after expiry of fitness certificate

Auto unions to protest against Rs.50 per day fee after expiry of fitness certificate

Auto unions to protest against Rs.50 per day fee after expiry of fitness certificate

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The state transport department has directed all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to impose a fee of ₹50 per day once the fitness certificate of commercial vehicles expires. This directive has sparked resentment among autorickshaw unions in the city. Nitin Pawar, the general secretary of the Autorickshaw Union Federation of Maharashtra, announced on Wednesday that they would protest the directive in front of the collector’s office.

“Fitness tests don’t happen immediately. One has to take an appointment, which is given after eight to 15 days on average. Moreover, a timeframe should be given if the decision has to be implemented,” Pawar stated.

According to the directive, vehicle owners must pay a daily fee of ₹50 after their vehicle’s fitness certificate expires, in addition to the fee for renewing the certificate. Commercial vehicles do not require a fitness certificate for the first two years after registration. Thereafter, it must be renewed every two years until the vehicle is eight years old, after which the certificate must be renewed annually.

“This regulation was included in the Motor Vehicles Act in 2016, but a bus association in Mumbai filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against it. In 2017, the High Court stayed the regulation. In 2022, another PIL was filed by an autorickshaw union. On April 2 this year, the court dismissed both petitions,” explained Pune Regional Transport Officer Sanjiv Bhor.

Pawar highlighted that many autorickshaw drivers could not renew their fitness certificates due to the pandemic. “Right now, the daily income of many auto drivers is between ₹300 and ₹400. If a charge of ₹50 per day is levied on them, how will they survive?” he questioned.

Baba Shinde, president of the Maharashtra State Goods and Passenger Transport Association, noted that around 70% of autorickshaws in the state lack a fitness certificate. He mentioned that they had sent a letter to the chief minister addressing this issue.