LAHORE – With the expected investment of Rs1 billion, the Punjab Government has decided to outsource the subject of Motor Vehicle Examination to private firm through bidding, TheNation has learnt. A high-ranking official of the Punjab Transport Department told this scribe that modern vehicle examination centres would be established in Lahore and eight other big cities of the province. “These centres will issue physical fitness certificates to vehicles after their complete examination,” he said. Initially, according to the official, at least three centres would be established in Lahore as part of a Pilot Project, while till the end of the year, a total of 23 centres would start working, he hoped. Punjab Transport Minster Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman when asked about the move confirmed that the project was being introduced to modernize the public transport sector in the province. A Swedish consortium has showed interest in this regard, but the provincial government will hold open bidding for the process within 15 days, he added. Only one company would issue the fitness certificate all-over the province, he said, adding the Transport Department would monitor the performance of that company. He said that a third party would also be authorised to monitor the overall project in a view to keep it transparent. “It will prove a landmark project to make secure the lives of the passengers who travel through public transport. Any vehicle which will not qualify the criteria of fitness will not be allowed to ply at any routes of the province,” the minister held. To a question, he replied that initially the presentation of fitness certificate would be necessary for public transport to get route permit but later every vehicle, private and public, would get fitness certificate from the examination centres. Mian Mujtaba added that such centres were already working in United Kingdom, USA and other developed countries. The Minister informed that among proposed 23 centres, five would be established in Lahore, eight in other cities while 10 would be mobile centres equipped with all modern facilities. He said that about Rs40 million would be required to establish a single centre.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-Mar-2012 here.