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MoRTH Releases Rules For Automated Vehicle Fitness Testing Stations
The fitness testing for commercial vehicles is done every 2 years upto 8 years, and every year for the vehicles older than 8 years. Fitness testing for private vehicle is done at the time of renewal of registration and repeated after every five years in case renewal of registration is applied.
Photo Credit : Reuters
In the budget this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Vehicle Scrappage Policy to halt the usage of older unfit vehicles. As per the policy, “private cars older than 20 years and declared unfit will be scrapped and for commercial vehicles, the age is up to 15 years.” As per the Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, the policy would give a 30 percent boost to the Indian automobile sector and will reach a turnover of Rs 10 lakh crore in the coming years.
To test the “fitness” or eligibility of these cars which are past their legal age, “Automated Testing Stations” will be required. An Automated Testing Station (ATS) uses mechanical equipment to automate the various tests required to check fitness to a vehicle. The fitness testing for commercial vehicles (Transport) is done every 2 years upto 8 years, and every year for the vehicles older than 8 years. Fitness testing for personal vehicle (Non-Transport) is done at the time of renewal of registration (after 15 years) and repeated after every five years in case renewal of registration is applied.
Section 56(2) of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 introduced through Section 23 on Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, empowers the Central Government to make rules for recognition, regulation and control of Automated Testing Stations.
These rules take into account the vehicle safety and emission requirements, global best practices. These have been incorporated them according to the vehicles and systems in place in India.
- ATS may be owned or operated by a person including any individual or company or association or body of individuals or special purpose vehicle or State Government.
- To avoid conflict of interest there should not be any financial or professional interest means any personal, financial, or other considerations that may have the potential to influence or compromise the professional behavior of the owner or operator of an automated testing station. Facility will act as a test-only facility and shall not provide any services related to repair of vehicles or manufacturing or sale of vehicles or automobile spares. strict confidentiality of information regarding test results related to vehicle make and type.
- A Single window clearance system to be provided for pre-registration/registration of the ATS. The registering authority shall not below the rank of the Transport Commissioner of the State.
- The station must have appropriate commensurate space for defining test lane according to the vehicle class, booking/cash counters, IT server, utilities, parking and free movement of vehicles etc. The IT systems must have cyber security certifications for safe access to VAHAN. The education qualification and experience of the manpower employed is laid down in these rules.
- The various Automated tests and visual checks to be conducted as per the CMVR, 1989 and Pass-fail criteria are listed in the rules. Minimum Specifications of the testing and IT equipment are also given.
- The appointment for fitness test at an Automated Testing Station shall done through an online portal developed by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
- All automatic and manual data, along with the results of the tests performed on the vehicle will be automatically transmitted to a central unit. All results will be masked on the test lane and test data to be encrypted. The test report will be generated automatically after completion of all tests and shall be sent to the registered owner/ authorised signatory of the vehicle through electronic mode.
- If a vehicle fails the required tests, the registered owner/ authorised signatory of the vehicle may opt for a re-test after depositing the appropriate fee for re-testing. In case, the vehicle that fails such re-test, it shall be declared as End of Life Vehicle (ELV).
- If registered owner/ authorised signatory is not satisfied with the test result, he may submit an appeal with requisite fee. The appellate authority may order a partial or complete re-inspection of the vehicle, within fifteen working days of receipt of such appeal. Consequent to the vehicle passing such re-inspection, the appellate authority shall order issuance a Certificate of Fitness to such vehicle. The decision of appellate authority shall be final and binding.
- The Audit of ATSs set up under these rules shall be conducted by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited agencies every six months. The cost of such audit shall be borne by the operator of such station. Under exceptional circumstances, which are adequately recorded, surprise audit may also be conducted. Detailed procedure is provided in the rules.
- The procedure for the appeal against the actions of the registration authority is also laid down. Details forms are also provided for initial registration/renewal of registration/audit and appeal.