With a steady rise in vehicles emerging as a major contributor to the high air pollution in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, the road transport department, from the next year, is likely to keep digital tabs on the Pollution Under Control (PUC) checks vehicles in the state undergo.
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According to transport department officials, pollution from vehicles, which makes up for the largest volume of air pollutants, has been increasing rapidly across the state, especially in major cities such as Pune and Mumbai.
“There is no data to prove how many vehicles in the state have violated the PUC standards. In major cities like Mumbai, the air quality is deteriorating further because of traffic and the number of cars. Vehicles should undergo PUC checks every six months, but that is not followed usually,” said a senior official.
According to Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam, a discussion took place on the subject in order to curb air pollution. “The road transport department of the state will soon undertake mass digitisation of documents. The web-enabled platform will provide us a list of car owners who need to renew their PUCs. However, these things have been discussed, not finalised yet,” Gedam said.
According to RTO officials, the discussion regarding checking PUC of vehicles was held in an internal meeting. “One of the benefits of this move would mean sending SMS alerts to car owners about the expiry of their vehicle’s PUC. Since we will have digital records, we will be able to send several warnings and advisories to vehicle owners,” said an official.
Earlier this year, the RTO had announced that it would upgrade vehicle-related and driver-related software used by the regional transport offices — called Vahan and Sarathi — to help them maintain a database of information about vehicles and driving licences on a single platform. Additionally, M-parivahan, an application to store digitised vehicle-related documents, will be ready soon. It will store signed documents of one’s licence, registration copy and other vehicle-related documents.
Officials said that for the revised PUC checks to work efficiently, changes would also be made to the instruments used.