Soon, driving schools in Kerala will require two acres of land

Kochi: The central motor vehicles rules are being amended to incorporate several new changes, including the functioning of driving schools.

According to the draft rules, setting up a driving school may require two acres of land. The draft rules also spell out the facilities required in the driving schools, the qualifications for trainers and the audits that need to be conducted time to time.

Thirty days' time has been given to provide suggestions and responses to the draft rules of the central motor vehicles (amendment) rules 2021 that was published on January 29.

According to the draft rules, driving training centres should have biometric attendance system, broadband internet connectivity and tracks for training. The tracks should also have uphill and downhill gradients. Apart from teaching staff, the driving schools should have information technology employees to handle the proposed e-payment facility and real-time evaluation and online evaluation systems.

Another stipulation in the draft rules is that the owner of the driving school and the trainers under him should be of good character and qualified to provide training in driving.

Basic facilities

If the driving centre is situated in a plain, it should have two acres of land and in hilly areas, one acre. The land can belong to the owner or can be taken on lease. Other requirements include enough space to park the vehicles used for training, two classrooms with computers and multimedia projectors, simulators, facilities for providing first aid and public relations. The vehicles used for training purpose and the trainers should have insurance cover too.

A trainer should have a minimum educational qualification of plus-two pass, besides five years' driving experience and motor mechanic course certificate. However, those who have been a trainer for a minimum of five years before the issuance of the law have been exempted from this rule.

Concerns pour in

The requirements in the draft law, including the land, will create big difficulties for driving schools, say owners of driving schools. Once the new rules are implemented, most driving schools in the state will have to shut shop, they said, adding that the rules are a ploy of the central government to help corporates.

It is impossible to buy two acres of land in a state like Kerala where land is scarce and rates are high, they said. Even if they take land on lease, they will have to spend lakhs of rupees for setting up tracks and other facilities. At present, the H-shape training track requires just 10 cents of land whereas the new rules require two acres. Every driving school owner will have to shell out around Rs 1.5 crore to comply with the rules, they said. The owners have sought the intervention and help of the state government in this matter.

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