Mumbai: Work begins on new test track at Tardeo RTO

The state’s first RTO is finally on its way to getting a good driving track, and authorities have begun unloading paver blocks, bags of cement, soil and other material to level the uneven ground

The State's first Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Tardeo will finally have a decent driving test track in place. The authorities have begun work on constructing the new track a few days ago and say it may be ready before monsoon.

The uneven ground at Tardeo RTO will be levelled and then converted to a concrete surface. Pic/Datta KumbharThe uneven ground at Tardeo RTO will be levelled and then converted to a concrete surface. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The uneven ground at Tardeo RTO will be levelled and then converted to a concrete surface. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Sources from the Tardeo RTO said they have begun unloading paver blocks, bags of cement, soil and other materials required for levelling the uneven and bumpy ground. “Around ten days ago, the initial work began,” said an RTO official, on condition of anonymity. mid-day had reported about the proposed driving test track to come up at the facility on December 1.

mid-day’s report on December 1, 2014
mid-day’s report on December 1, 2014

Presently the RTO is in bad shape; black-and-yellow taxis, trucks, tempos and two-wheelers are parked haphazardly on the premises and authorities have started getting the space cleared. Driving tests are conducted on this open ground with crowded vehicles. Heaps of construction material have been brought in.

The track is part of the major makeover planned for this British-era barrack, which was once used as a stable. The buildings in the premises will be modified as well, as the insides of the barracks are already in shambles. The six-acre ground will be levelled and then converted to concrete surface. Later an artificial track will be created solely for driving tests.

The new driving test track is tipped to have features such as segregated lanes, U-turns, traffic signals, barriers and other facilities required for testing candidates. Recently an old barrack, where furniture, fixtures and other debris were dumped, got burnt in a freak fire. Some vehicles dumped on the RTO premises also caught fire earlier last month.

Sources said that when the revamp work reaches the areas of the RTO where fitness of vehicles is checked, this operation would be transferred to the Wadala RTO until the refurbishment is completed. The Public Works Department (PWD) is carrying out this work. Every day, around 200 vehicles come for fitness tests while around 150 people come to procure a permanent driving licence.

Former barrack
The RTO premises were originally built as a barracks and horse stable for the British governor’s bodyguards. A plaque on the structure’s carved stone displays this fact. The lane outside the office is still called Bodyguard Lane. The Tardeo RTO caters to south Mumbai and all its vehicles marked MH-01.

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