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Vehicle users flout pollution norms

M. Srinivas

Lakhs of vehicles continue to ply in twin cities without mandatory pollution check



MANDATORY:Two-wheelers queue up for a pollution check at a petrol pump.

HYDERABAD: A staggering 4,532 vehicles plying on the city roads have not been complying with air pollution norms, with trucks and autorickshaws topping the list of vehicles that contribute to the indiscriminate rise in pollution levels.

This was found during a special drive carried out by traffic police for the last 15 days on air and noise pollution, following complaints from people.

While some vehicle owners have expired Pollution under Control (PuC) certificates, others failed to test their vehicles for more than three years.

A large number of motor vehicles are still to be tested.

Despite studies establishing that unchecked vehicular emissions contribute almost 70 per cent of air pollution and pose health hazards, lakhs of vehicles continue to ply in twin cities without mandatory pollution check.

Given the increase in number of vehicles and subsequent rise in vehicular emission, studies have revealed that air pollution levels, especially that of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide, have gone up.

With regard to noise pollution, the police have found that 1,419 vehicles, mostly motorcycles, cars and trucks were the cause for high decibel sound and pushing the levels beyond the prescribed levels.

Rules

Rules stipulate on noise levels not exceeding 75 dB in industrial and commercial areas during day and night time, while 40 dB is to be ensured in silent zones like schools, colleges and hospitals.

Even the audio systems installed in cars must maintain a maximum 75 dB in industrial and commercial areas and 40 dB in silent zones, according to officials.

Officials explained that cases under Section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act were booked against vehicle owners for violating air and noise pollution. A penalty of Rs.300 would be collected from two and three-wheelers for the first offence and the penalty would be Rs.2,000 for second time offence.

For heavy vehicles, the drivers would be imposed a fine of Rs.600 for first time and Rs.2,000 for second offence. The drive would continue for next few days to identify more vehicles emitting pollution, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) N. Hanumantha Rao. “Plans have been chalked out to computerise the details of these violators to collect Rs.2,000 penalty for committing offences repeatedly” he added.

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