PUC charges increased, center owners displeased.

According to the government order, the Pollution Under Control (PUC) rate for two-wheelers has been increased to Rs 50 as against Rs 35 earlier. Similarly, the charges for three-wheelers running on petrol now stand at Rs 100, instead of the earlier Rs 70.

Four-wheelers running on petrol and CNG will have to pay Rs 125 for the certificate as compared to Rs 90 charged earlier. Vehicles running on diesel will have to sell out Rs 150 for the certificate, instead of Rs 110.

PUC center owners have expressed their displeasure over the hike. "The revised rate is not acceptable to us. We have been demanding a hike since long and are fighting it in court too. We have demanded that the PUC charges for two-wheelers should be Rs 120 and for three-wheelers, it should be Rs 150. The rate for four-wheelers running on petrol should be Rs 250, while those running on diesel should be Rs 300. For all heavy vehicles, the rate should be Rs 350," Sandip Bhandare, the president of All Maharashtra Pollution Under Control Centers Owners' Association.

There are around 2,400 PUC centers in the state, including 300 in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. "The increase in PUC rates has happened after around 11 years. We have been struggling to sustain and the online system, which came into effect from early 2020, increased our expenses," an official of the association said.

While the PUC certificate for BS-3 vehicles is valid for six months, those issued for BS-IV and Bharat stage 6 (BS-VI) vehicles are valid for a year. The manual certificate issuance in the state was replaced with an online system in late 2019 after a car belonging to Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari was issued three PUC certificates from three different centers in Maharashtra.

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