15-year-old diesel autos to be banned: Punjab Pollution Control Board
Pollution is not the only issue around three-wheelers. Many such vehicles ply without the mandatory no-objection certificates, while many do not have valid documents.punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2017 11:10 IST
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) will “soon” put a stop to plying of auto-rickshaws older than 15 years in the state. “We call them ‘polluting autos’ and currently there are about 30,000 in the state,” PPCB Chairman KS Pannu said, adding, “Majority of these are in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar districts.”
The board is in talks with manufacturers to replace the old diesel- and kerosene-run three-wheelers with those fuelled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) on concessional rates, he said. “LPG and CNG autos will perform better than diesel-based autos. Also, running cost of those vehicles will be less.”
The plan is at its initial stages, but the board aims to implement the change before the end of next year. “We are in talks with various companies and financiers to provide easy loans. Also, bulk buying will help cut the cost of vehicles,” Pannu said.
Pollution is not the only issue around three-wheelers. Many such vehicles ply without the mandatory no-objection certificates, while many do not have valid documents.
Reacting, Varinder Kumar, president of an auto-rickshaw union in Patiala, said, “It’s good that the board wants to work towards a better environment, but they should also implement this on other vehicles, including diesel-run cars. The board should not target auto drivers alone.”
Jagminder Singh, an auto driver in Patran, said, “We are running old vehicles because we do not have enough money to pay for new ones. Also, our old vehicles can ferry more people at a time. If we get the new vehicles at a subsidised rate, we will happily be part of the initiative.”