The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification, extending the date for "mandatory testing" of transport vehicles via automated testing stations to October 1, 2024.

"It is also mandated that fitness testing of the vehicle shall be done only through automated testing station (with effect from the publication of this notification) where the automated testing station registered under rule 175 is operational in the jurisdiction of a registering authority," a notification by the ministry says.

Earlier, the deadline for mandatory testing of heavy goods vehicles or heavy passenger motor vehicles was April 1, 2023, and for medium goods vehicles or medium passenger motor vehicles and light motor vehicles (transport), the deadline was June 1, 2024.

As per rule 62 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the renewal of a certificate of fitness with respect to transport vehicles is for two years for vehicles up to eight years old and one year for vehicles older than eight years.

The fitness test for vehicles is part of the Centre's plan to reduce carbon footprints to align with the international carbon emission norms. The government is also focussing on making roads safer by constructing high-quality roads under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I. The government envisages 34,800 km of Greenfield Expressways or Access Controlled Highways or Economic Corridors, Inter-corridor, and feeder roads.

For passenger vehicles, the Centre had also introduced the six-airbag mandate to enhance safety for vehicle occupants. However, on September 13, the government rolled back the proposal. During the 63rd ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India) annual convention, Road, and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Centre does not "need to make it mandatory” even though it earlier set the deadline of October 1, 2023, to implement the mandate.

“Bharat NCAP has already started. The automobile manufacturers who have already started making six airbags will get more market share. Most of the automakers have already accepted the mandate. Only one company has some reservations, so it’s up to them if they want to accept the mandate or not. But now people are conscious. And whatever the economic model is people prefer to take six-air bags car,” Gadkari said.

Gadkari had launched the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat-NCAP) in New Delhi on August 22, 2023, aiming to enhance road safety by elevating vehicle safety standards for up to 3.5-tonne vehicles in India. The programme is applicable to type-approved motor vehicles of the M1 category, less than 3.5T GVW. A voluntary programme, it’ll test “base variants” of a given model and start from October 1, 2023.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.