Want to keep driving your vehicle on Delhi roads? Then make sure you don’t slip up on regular emission checks. For the Delhi government will soon be launching a new pollution check system in the Capital without which you may not be able to secure an annual fitness certificate for your vehicle.
Here’s how it will work: Around 350 emission checking centres in the Capital will be linked to the transport department’s vehicle database. When you get a pollution under control (PUC) test done at any of these centres, the information will get updated against your vehicle’s registration number. The same will be used to review whether a particular vehicle should be issued a fitness certificate.
The system, a step in controlling the city’s alarming pollution levels, will later be replicated across the country. It already exists in Bengaluru.
“The transport department will not issue annual fitness certificates to vehicles that do not meet the emission standard or fail to get the periodic test done. Therefore, emission levels will become essential for allowing a vehicle to ply (on city roads),” a senior government official said.
The system will first be introduced for commercial vehicles and in subsequent years include personal vehicles that are older than two years, an environment ministry official said. The decision was taken at a meeting between environment secretary Ashok Lavasa and Delhi government officials on combating air pollution in the Capital.
Around one-fourth of Delhi’s alarming pollution is caused by vehicular emissions. According to the World Health Organisation, Delhi is the most polluted among 1,600 cities across the world. Environment minister Prakash Javadekar had admitted in Parliament last week that the Capital’s air toxicity exceeded WHO standard.
The new system, in which the pollution checking machines will be calibrated automatically by a software, will end human interference in issuing PUC certificates, thus, minimizing the possibility of bribery and corruption.
The Delhi government will also issue fresh bans burning of leaves and other organic products in the Capital, officials said, adding that entry of heavy trucks will also be restricted in the coming months. Experts, however, doubt the impact of such “piecemeal efforts” to bring down Delhi’s pollution levels. “Some drastic steps need to be taken for which the political will appears to be missing,” said an official with the Central Pollution Control Board.