Rawalpindi - Abandoning decades-old transport inspection system, Rawalpindi city will have a modern vehicle inspection, certification station in Rawat by the end of March.

According to Regional Transport Authority (RTA) official, the Punjab government had made mandatory for commercial vehicles in passenger and freight sector to pass fitness test of OPUS Inspection, a Swedish firm which would start its operations here soon as land has been allotted to the firm in Rawat at G.T. Road and the arrangements to inaugurate the facility are being finalised.

Opus Inspection, the Swedish firm, is establishing 39 vehicle inspection and certification stations (VICS) in all 36 districts of the province. Stations have already been made operational in Lahore, he added.

According to the new system, buses, vans, cabs, trolleys and trucks would be issued VICS certificate after alignment inspection, brake inspection, visual inspection, vehicle suspension verification, headlight inspection, emission inspection and vehicle noise inspection.

The transport department has set Rs1,080 inspection fee for transport vehicle, Rs720 for each delivery van and motor cab, rickshaw and motorcycle rickshaw; whereas, the renewal fee after six months will be charged Rs540 for HTV and LTV, and Rs450 for delivery van, motor cabs and auto rickshaws.

Transport officials claim the modern inspection method will be helpful in controlling the road accidents and entering this sector into a modern era. “No public transport will be allowed to operate on roads without passing the seven inspections of international standard which aims to ensure road safety and minimize the number of accidents,” the official said.

He added that the enforcement staff of the transport department would ensure every vehicle to get the VICS certificate.

Divided into 3 categories, the VICS includes ‘A-type station’ which will test LTV (Light Transport Vehicles) and HTV (Heavy Transport Vehicles). Two stations will be established in Rawalpindi including Rawat station.

The ‘B-type station’, having single inspection lane, will serve only LTV and provide inspection facility in Rawalpindi, Jehlum and Attock in Rawalpindi division.

The ‘C-type station’ is mobile unit and serve both LTV and HTV at facility centre in Chakwal, in Rawalpindi division.

Maximum inspection time for HTV, LTV and rickshaws will be 30 minutes, 20min and 15min respectively. Moreover, the owners/driver will take appointments through toll free numbers, SMS and website services.

Separate air-conditioned customer areas, help desk and waiting areas will also be established to provide good service to vehicle owner/driver during the inspection.

The Opus has signed the agreement with Punjab government on BoT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis. The company will make bi-annual inspection of a vehicle with different free structure for 30 years period.

The government has also provided land on lease for the VICS stations in all the cities.

It is pertinent to mention here that in the recent past, the dilapidated condition of passenger vehicles caused horrific accidents in different areas which claimed a number of precious lives.

The existing system of inspection here managed by provincial transport authority through motor vehicle examiners has been criticised for making no proper testing for the vehicles. It mostly allows unfit vehicles to ply on roads especially in rural areas, towns and small cities.