The transport department has diverted roughly half of its pollution control division (PCD) staffers to zonal offices, where they have been issuing vehicle licences for the last three months.
The PCD, which comes under the transport department, comprises about 15 officers and several inspectors under them, who are supposed to conduct surprise checks at the 950 pollution checking centres across the capital.
The officers and inspectors are supposed to routinely ascertain if pollution checking centres are testing vehicles accurately and efficiently.
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They are also responsible for renewing licences of pollution centres every year.
In July, 11 PCD officers were diverted to the government’s licence branch. However, last month, the government rescinded its July order and put four of those officers back on pollution checking duty.
The other seven will continue in the licence branch.
Government’s July notification was issued after Transport Minister Satyendar Jain said zonal offices were supposed to operate for 12 hours a day on all seven days of the week, instead of eight hours a day on six days.
Jain said he had increased the work hours to clear the large number of pending applications to register vehicles.
“The government realised Motor Licencing Officers (MLOs) cannot work for seven days a week, 12 hours a day. So we were asked to work on alternate days and PCD officers were asked to fill in as MLOs on the days we were off duty,” an MLO said.
“We have also been assigned pollution level test inspectors from the PCD to assist us in clearing pending licences,” the MLO added.