2 million vehicles in Delhi don’t have pollution control certificate

Updated on Oct 04, 2022 12:45 AM IST

Senior government officials, who are aware of the matter, said on Monday that 90 enforcement teams have been formed, and SMSes are being sent to the owners of the vehicles without valid PUCC to get their vehicles checked immediately.

The Delhi government has made it mandatory for vehicle owners to show a valid Pollution control certificate at fuel station to get their vehicles refilled from October 25. (HT Photo)
The Delhi government has made it mandatory for vehicle owners to show a valid Pollution control certificate at fuel station to get their vehicles refilled from October 25. (HT Photo)

Nearly 2 million vehicles in the national capital do not have valid pollution under control certificate (PUCC), according to data shared by the Delhi government which has announced a citywide campaign against polluting vehicles head of the winter when air pollution peaks in the Capital.

The state government had announced on Saturday that from October 25, vehicle owners will not be able to refuel at city fuel stations until they are carrying a valid Pollution Under Control certificate. A notification in this regard is yet to be issued.

Senior government officials, who are aware of the matter, said on Monday that 90 enforcement teams have been formed, and SMSes are being sent to the owners of the vehicles without valid PUCC to get their vehicles checked immediately.

According to Delhi government data, a total of 1,936,880 vehicles in Delhi do not have a valid PUCC as on September 25. “Presently, there is no mechanism for checking whether the vehicles whose PUCC have expired are plying or not. It can be checked at the time of re- fuelling of the vehicle or during the enforcement drives which are carried out by the transport department regularly, especially during the winter months,” said a transport department official who asked not to be named.

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An analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in November last year said that vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to local particulate matter (PM10) in Delhi.

According to government data, Delhi has a total of 13.4 million registered vehicles. “Nearly 60% of these vehicles are active. Apart from the vehicles registered in Delhi, hundreds of thousands of vehicles registered in NCR states enter the national capital daily. Checking that the vehicles tailpipe emissions are within the permission limits is an important step in combating air pollution. We have formed 90 enforcement teams to check PUC compliance by all kinds of vehicles,” said Delhi transport commissioner Ashish Kundra.

In 2021, the Delhi government launched a similar crackdown on polluting vehicles and those running without valid PUC certificate under which teams were deployed at busy streets, near petrol pumps, and at other locations to check vehicles. “Our teams issued 24,300 challans against vehicles which did not have valid PUCC between September 2021 and December 2021,” said transport department official.

PUCC is a mandatory document certifying that the vehicle’s tailpipe emission falls within permissible limits.A vehicle plying without a valid PUC certificate is liable to be prosecuted under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act and may lead to imprisonment of up to three months or fine of up to 10,000, or both. Delhi has around 966 PUCC centres spread over 10 zones. Random checks are also done by Pollution Level Test Inspectors to ensure that PUC centres are issuing accurate certificates.

Kavish Kumar, who runs a PUC centre near Geeta Colony Ramlila Maidan in east Delhi, said the number of vehicles coming for checks has almost doubled since last week as the government has started sending notices and alerts to vehicle owners. “Till September last week, around 100 vehicles came for PUC certificates every day. The number has gone up to 200-250 in the last few days,” said Kumar.

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has also flagged concerns over vehicular pollution on September 30. “We are making inspection of PUC certificates stricter. We have identified 203 heavy traffic roads and have prepared measures to decongest them,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said: “Vehicles are among the top contributors to Delhi’s air pollution. And therefore, in addition to meeting the mass emissions standards at the time of manufacturing of vehicles, stringent monitoring of emissions from vehicles on road is also necessary to ensure that vehicles are maintained well and do not deteriorate to emit more than they are designed to emit. It is important to go beyond the basic PUC tests that are not so suitable for modern technologies. We should look at introducing more advanced systems like remote sensing monitoring from roadside to capture the level of a range of pollutants from vehicles passing by for better profiling of emissions from different genre and age of vehicles and to effectively catch the highly polluting vehicles on road.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Alok K N Mishra is a journalist with the Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He writes on governance, policy and politics. He is an ardent follower of politics and is fascinated about making politics work better for the middle-class and the poor. He loves to discuss and predict the national political behaviour. Before shifting to Delhi, he covered political instability, governance, and misgovernance besides Maoists insurgency in Jharkhand for almost half a decade. He started out in 2010 as a city reporter with Times of India, Patna.

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