Entities like special purpose vehicles, state governments, companies, associations and body of individuals may be allowed to open Automated Testing Station (ATS) for testing fitness of both personal and transport vehicles.
According to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), a single window clearance system will be provided for pre-registration/ registration of the ATS and the registering authority shall not be below the rank of the transport commissioner of the state.
“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,” the ministry said in guidelines issued on Saturday. According to the guidelines, if a vehicle fails the required tests, the registered owner or 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),” it said.
The ministry further said if registered owner or 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,” it said.
The MoRTH said 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, it added. To avoid conflict of interest, the ministry said 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 behaviour of the owner or operator of an automated testing station.
Recently, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that the National Automobile Scrappage Policy outlines key steps for facilitating setting up of necessary support infrastructure in the form of automated testing stations (ATS) and registered vehicle scrapping facilities (RVSF).
The minister had said that ATS will be set up minimise manual testing of vehicles as per the road map. “In the first phase, 75 stations will be set up; and later, it will be scaled to 450-500 stations,” he had said. Currently, 26 ATS are sanctioned; out of which, seven are already functioning.
The MoRTH pointed out that ATS 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. The ministry also emphasised 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, it added.
According to 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. 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 up to 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. The ministry said the audit of ATS set up 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.