Delhi to implement stricter standards for pollution fitness certificates.

The Government of Delhi is proposing to apply extended standard operating protocols for Pollution Under Control (PUC) Centers in the state capital to control misguided operators found to issue fraudulent certificates to vehicles.

"A random examination of the system revealed instances of PUC certificates being issued without a proper screening of vehicles," said a senior government official, adding that this defeats the purpose of the government's urging vehicle owners to obtain certificates of suitability the contamination of these PUC centers.

This audit was conducted by the International Center for Automotive Technology (iCAT) on behalf of the Department of Transport, Government of Delhi. The iCAT was established by the National Automotive and Research and Development (R&D) Infrastructure Project (NATRIP), which is under the administrative control of the Union Department of Heavy Industry.

The Delhi government is said to be in talks with various agencies including the National Computing Center to finalize the new operational protocols for the PUC centers.

“We have to somehow ensure that the PUC operator actually tests the vehicles and reports emission readings accurately, instead of just arbitrarily issuing certificates in lieu of some undue gratification,” the official said, adding that the new protocols will go into effect in August this year will come into force.

Delhi currently has 966 PUC centers spread over 10 zones. These centers are useful for monitoring vehicle pollution and certifying the suitability of vehicles to emission standards. Failure to have a valid PUC for a four-wheeler can result in a fine of Rs 10,000 in the city.

This substantial fine is justified as vehicle pollution is a major problem in Delhi and is estimated to contribute to almost 40% of the capital’s PM 2.5 emissions. The situation aggravated to an extent that the National Green Tribunal barred the plying of more than 10 year old diesel vehicles, and more than 15 year old petrol vehicles in the city.

According to informed officials, the Delhi center and government believed that emissions should be a parameter to prevent vehicles from driving on the roads. But the dubious authenticity of the PUC certificates had invalidated that argument, and the Supreme Court upheld the National Green Tribunal's (NGT's) order.

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