Nepal | May 25, 2020

Teku-based VFTC to come into operation from mid-April

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 13

The government is gearing up to finally bring the Teku-based Vehicle Fitness Test Centre (VFTC) into operation from mid-April, five years after its construction was completed.

The government had poured in more than Rs 60 million for the construction of the modern vehicle test centre in Teku, which was completed in 2012. Though all the required machinery equipment and office had been set up at the centre, the government had failed to bring the centre into operation due to lack of coordination among different government agencies on fixing standards for vehicle tests and checking the status of installed equipment.

Now, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has said that the machines at the centre have been found to be in working condition and the government is on the verge of finalising the vehicle test standard.

“We are all set to operationalise VFTC in Teku — the first-of-its-kind in the country. We are preparing to operate it from mid-April, the Nepali New Year,” Tok Raj Pandey, spokesperson for DoTM, said, adding that required human resources have also been deputed to the fitness centre.

The government had constructed VFTC in Teku in a bid to check and certify the safety and road-worthiness of vehicles plying the roads in the Kathmandu Valley. The centre is mandated to check fitness of vehicles, including conditions of different automobile parts such as suspension, chassis, exhaust emission, brakes and others.

Moreover, the centre is envisaged to take the vehicles found to be unfit for driving off the streets to minimise the risks of accidents caused due to old vehicles.

The modern vehicle test centre would check the fitness of vehicles through computerised system, according to DoTM officials. The centre can check fitness of five to six vehicles per hour.

Due to government’s inability to bring the centre into operation, hundreds of old vehicles are plying the roads, which have not only increased risks of accidents but are also added to the pollution levels.

As the DoTM has decided to gradually phase out vehicles that are older than 20 years from March 1, establishing more of such modern automobile testing centres across the country is crucial. DoTM has estimated that there are almost 4,000 vehicles plying on Kathmandu Valley roads which have crossed the 20-year mark.

The DoTM currently operates a vehicle fitness centre at its Transport Management Office in Ekantakuna. However, the centre is neither well-equipped nor reliable.

“We shall call all vehicle owners to bring in their automobiles for fitness check-up from mid-April and certify them accordingly. The DoTM is planning to set up such centres in different parts of the country to facilitate the owners living outside the Kathmandu Valley,” said Pandey.

A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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