Weak PUC rules help most cars pass pollution test, according to EPCA audit.
New Delhi: Lakhs of vehicles in Delhi are plying without the mandatory “pollution under control” (PUC) certificates, an audit by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), has found.
The audit of 970 certified centres in the national capital also revealed that the city’s emission testing centres are enormously understaffed. The EPCA has submitted the report to the Supreme Court.
According to estimates, every quarter should have around 59 lakh PUC tests in Delhi, but “the period of November 2016 to January 2017 shows tests of only 13.7 lakh vehicles which works out to a compliance rate of 23.2 per cent.
As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, every BS-III emission-compliant motor vehicle needs to go for a pollution test every three months, while BS-IV vehicles have to take the test annually.
“A large number of vehicles in Delhi remain outside the PUC testing network,” the report states, adding that even among the vehicles turning up for tests, the failure rate is extremely low and that the existing norms cannot even identify at least 15 to 20 per cent grossly polluti-ng vehicles in the on-road fleet.
“Nearly all vehicles pass the tests. Due to poor recording of failed tests and due to very lax norms the overall failure rate in Delhi is 4.69 per cent. For the diesel vehicles tested, the failure rate stands at 1.68 per cent, compared to 5.18 per cent for petrol vehicles,” it says.
Moreover, failed tests are not recorded as owners refuse to pay the test fee if their vehicles fail. As a result, the pass-fail data compiled by the transport departments show very poor failure rate.
According to the report, the current PUC norms are so weak, especially for the pre-BS IV vehicles, that not only do most vehicles pass the test, but a great part of them actually pass with as high as an 80 per cent margin from the norm.