WITH HAND-CARTS functioning as Pollution Under Control (PUCs) in the city, a report by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has found that existing PUC programmes are not adequate to address the transition to Bharat Stage (BS) VI emission standards, likely to be enforced by 2020.
The problems: “fake software”, “issue of false passes”, “inappropriate tests” and “lax PUC norms that rarely fail the vehicles”, says the report. While only 4.69 per cent of vehicles in Delhi fail the test, the failure rate of diesel vehicles is 1.68 per cent, while for petrol vehicles, it is 5.18 per cent, the report states.
Delhi has 971 PUC centres but the transport department has 28 inspectors and only one available for “ground inspection”. In the NCR, there are several PUC centres “located in small sheds in petrol pumps” with inspectors “(varying) from 2 to 9”.
The report found that at Bawal in Rewari, “an extreme form of unauthorised PUC certification” was taking place. “Several empty hand-carts stand in a row by the side of the highway” with “large plastic printed boards, which read “Pradushan Jaach Certificate available here, Rs 100/- only”. The report adds, “These boards are further lit by tubelights attached to the frame of the hand-carts, for better visibility at night.”
The last audit of PUCs in Delhi was first submitted to the SC in 2003. Now, 14 years later, the latest report was submitted to the apex court on Monday.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) asked the EPCA to “remove the reference to Real Driving Emissions”, making the case that “with regard to the reference to Real Driving Emission Test Procedures… notified by the government of India for introduction, after BS-VI emission norms are implemented…are done on new vehicles for type approval purpose and these tests cannot be done by PUC centres.”
The report, which argues for the need of a different approach to on-road emissions for monitoring, adds that “significantly more advanced emissions control systems” are expected, with the new emission standards requiring a radical shift in “approach to on-road emissions monitoring” — particularly after the 2014 introduction in Europe found emissions to be “significantly more than their certification level”.