Rawalpindi-Abandoning the decades-old transport inspection system, the city will have modern vehicle inspection and certification stations soon, said Secretary Regional Transport Authority Khalid Yameen Satti.

He said that one such station would be set up in Rawat and another in Pirwadhai area.

The secretary said that Punjab government had made its mandatory for commercial vehicles in passenger and freight sector to pass fitness test of a Swedish firm, Opus Inspection, which, he said, would start its operations soon as land had been allotted to the firm in Rawat and Pirwadhai Bus Stand to set up inspection workshops.

Opus Inspection is establishing 39 vehicle inspection and certification stations in all 36 districts of the province. Such stations have already been made operational in Lahore, he added.

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

The transport department has set Rs1,080 inspection fee for transport vehicles, Rs720 for delivery vans and motor cabs, rickshaws and motorcycle rickshaws, whereas the renewal fee after six months will be charged at Rs540 for HTVs and LTVs, and Rs450 for delivery van, motor cabs and rickshaws.

The transport official claimed that the modern inspection method would 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 standards aimed at ensuring road safety and minimising the number of accidents,” the secretary said.

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

Divided into three categories, the VICS stations include “A-type stations” which will test LTV (light transport vehicles) and HTV (heavy transport vehicles). “B-type stations”, having single inspection lane, will serve only LTVs and will provide inspection facility in Rawalpindi, Jehlum and Attock in Rawalpindi division.

The “C-type station” is mobile unit and will serve both LTVs and HTVs at facility centre in Chakwal, in Rawalpindi division, the official said.

Maximum inspection time for HTVs, LTVs and rickshaws will be 30 minutes, 20 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. Moreover, the owners/driver will be able to take appointments through toll free numbers, SMS and website services, the official said.

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 Inspection had 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, he added.

The government has also provided land on lease for the VICS in all the cities, the official said.

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