The Maharashtra government today told the Bombay High Court that it has decided not to levy late fines for renewal of fitness certificates for taxis, auto rickshaws and other vehicles.
The government told a division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka that a fine of Rs 100 was being levied on taxis and auto rickshaws and Rs 200 on other vehicles for delay of 15 days or more in renewing their fitness certificates.
The government, however, has decided to withdraw the same from April 2017 as per a Government Resolutions revising the fines for renewal of fitness certificates of vehicles, said Home Department's Principal Secretary Manoj Saunik (Transport and Ports) in an affidavit to the court.
The affidavit was filed in reply to a plea by one Srikant Karve alleging that the Maharashtra regional transport offices were issuing fitness certificates to various vehicles without mandatory checks and without following the procedures laid down under Motor Vehicles Act.
Alleging that the RTOs were collecting fines under the head "Miscellaneous," the petitioner had also given to the court a receipt showing payment of Rs 400 as miscellaneous charges.
Stating that each of the state RTOs clears nearly 70 vehicles everyday on average for issuing fitness certificates, the petitioner had argued in his petition that such a large number of clearances were impossible if mandatory checks were followed.
The court had earlier asked all RTOs to provide for 250- metre-long tracks to conduct brake tests of the vehicles. The government had initially shown reluctance in providing for the tracks saying it would be difficult due to paucity of land.
But the court asked the state to make available the land for the purpose to all the 38 RTOs in the state.
The government affidavit today said the grants have been given to various RTOs to acquire land for brake-test tracks.
It said in Panvel, Malegaon and Nagpur, brake-test tracks have been provided and in Malegaon it was already working.
The affidavit also said a meeting had been held on April 1 to locate plots for building the 250-metre tracks for brake tests. The transport commissioner and the dairy development authority had carried out a joint inspection of the land in Aarey Colony at Goregaon in suburban Mumbai.
The transport commissioner had also inspected land at Malavni in suburban Malad for brake tests but the Public Works Department did not consider the land technically suitable for the purpose, it said.
Similarly, authorities had also visited Kurla, Worli and Mulund to locate lands for this purpose.
The Pune divisional commissioner had sent proposals to the Revenue Department to acquire land for brake tests in Akluj and Satara, the affidavit said adding that the tracks for the RTO at Nandurbar would be ready within a fortnight.
The high court earlier had stopped some RTOs from issuing fitness certificates due to lack of facilities such as brake test tracks.
The government urged the high court to extend time to issue fitness certificates up to June 30. The court said it would decide the plea during the next hearing.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)