Thursday, June 20, 2024

Auto unions to protest against ₹50 per day fee after expiry of fitness certificate – Times of India

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Pune: The state transport department has issued a directive to all RTOs to collect a fee of Rs50 per day once the fitness certificate of commercial vehicles expires, prompting resentment among the autorickshaw unions in the city. Nitin Pawar, the general secretary of the Autorickshaw Union Federation of Maharashtra, said on Wednesday they would be protesting against 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 an average. Moreover, a timeframe should be given if the decision has to be implemented,” Pawar said.According to the state transport department’s directive, a vehicle owner will have to pay a fee at the rate Rs50 per day after the vehicle’s fitness certificate expires to renew the same, besides the fee charged for the fitness certificate. Commercial vehicles don’t need a fitness certificate for two years after their registration. Thereafter, it has to be renewed every two years till it is eight years old. After eight years, the certificate has to be renewed every year. “The 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 it. In 2022, another PIL was filed on it by an autorickshaw union. On April 2 this year, the court dismissed both the petitions,” Pune regional transport officer Sanjiv Bhor told TOI. Auto union’s general secretary Pawar said many autorickshaw drivers could not get the fitness certificate of their vehicles owing to the pandemic. “Right now, the daily income of many auto drivers is between Rs300 and Rs400. If a charge of Rs50 per day is levied on them, how will they survive?” he said. Baba Shinde, the president of Maharashtra State Goods and Passenger Transport Association, said around 70% autorickshaws in the state didn’t have the fitness certificate. He said they had sent a letter to the chief minister on this issue.

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