The Vehicle Inspection and Certification System (VICS) is set to resume operation in the province after a gap of nine months as a dispute between the company operating it and the transport department has been resolved. In the initial phase, the issuance of fitness certificates after technical inspection of commercial vehicles will begin, while the system will be restored at 27 centres in the province in 10 days. The company that had dismissed 149 employees due to a financial crisis amid differences with the department has also started hiring staff. The transport department has stopped the issuance of fitness certificates through motor vehicle examiners across Punjab and now only the private company will issue the certificates through the VICS. After international bidding, a 20-year agreement was signed on February 3, 2015, between the transport department and a Swedish company, according to which VICS centres were to be set up at 39 places in the province. The land was to be provided on lease by the government. Of the planned centres, 27 became operational. However, the company informed the department in March this year that it was not being provided land for construction of the remaining centres as per the agreement. The firm complained that it was also not receiving the number of vehicles for inspection as agreed. The company said it was also facing difficulties because the department's motor vehicle examiners had the authority to issue fitness certificates in 10 districts. Due to the coronavirus lockdown and differences over the issues, the company shut its operations across Punjab on March 20. Now, all differences between the department and the company have been settled. The company will initially resume operations at the Green Town and Kala Shah Kaku VICS centres in Lahore, while and all 27 centres will be activated in the next 10 days.
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